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Contact: Frank A. Kruppenbacher (585) 336-5809

May 5, 2015

RSD Students to Benefit from Excellus BCBS Community Health Award

Grant encourages physical activity and healthy eating/lifestyles among RSD students

Rochester, N.Y. – Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD) is one four nonprofit organizations in Rochester and Monroe County chosen to receive Excellus BlueCross BlueShield 2015 Community Health Awards. RSD and selected programs are sharing more than $10,000 to expand nutritional, health and physical education programs and services.

The award for RSD is $2,555. It will support, in part, the schools’ health and safety classes by providing posters, models, games and equipment as constant visual reminders to RSD students of the themes that their Health teacher emphasizes through the health and safety curriculum. Students would gain a better understanding of the healthy living concepts presented in Health class. They would also become empowered to apply what they learn in class to their lives via healthier eating, avoidance of drugs, alcohol and smoking, as well as other high-risk behaviors.

Funds from the award will also support the purchase of an adaptive physical education tricycle as well as new playground and recess-time equipment, to ensure that RSD students have access to stress-relieving, muscle-enhancing “fun” break times during the day, both during PE classes and during recess. This would encourage students to exhibit fewer classroom behaviors due to restlessness. Students with developmental disabilities would have a greater ability to increase their physical activity during recess/playground time. In particular, students in each grade level who are unable to ride bicycles with other students will now be able to do so by utilizing and sharing the new adaptive tricycle.

“The Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Community Health Awards provide the chosen nonprofit organizations opportunities to improve the health and lives of community members,” said Robert Thompson, vice president, community health engagement, Excellus BCBS.

The other three nonprofit Rochester and Monroe County organizations receiving Excellus BCBS Community Health Awards are: Mary Cariola Children’s Center; Rochester School of the Holy Childhood; and, Young & Gifted Ministries.

Seven Rochester region organizations were selected from more than 242 submitted applications in the 31-county upstate New York region. The other three winning organizations are: Geneva General Hospital; Partnership of Ontario County; and, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital.

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