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Georgia SHAPE Partner Honored for Dedication to Youth

December 13, 2013

Originally published May 06, 2013

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and its affiliated fund, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, were recently awarded the Clyde Partin Service Award from the Southern District of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (SDAAHPERD).

The award honors a person or organization that is not a member of the profession but has made significant contribution to the development and promotion of SDAAHPERD's goals and purposes, or in the efforts of the SDAAHPERD divisions in their program planning and/or development.

AMBFF/AFYF is dedicated to helping Atlanta neighborhood youth increase their physical activity and fitness while fighting obesity and improving nutrition. As the largest NFL owner-funded foundation, AMBFF/AFYF has provided grants totaling more than $18 million to combat obesity and bring healthy, affordable food to Georgia residents who lack access.

"We are honored to receive recognition from the physical education teachers who are working so hard to improve the health and fitness of Georgia children," said John Bare, vice president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. "We are excited to see so many communities taking innovative approaches to increase the time kids spend in physical activity."

Accomplishments include Falcons Fitness Zones, swimming/water safety programs and support of Georgia SHAPE, Gov. Nathan Deal's statewide initiative to combat childhood obesity.  The foundation launched Falcons Fitness Zones in 2005 in 14 neighborhood sites that served 3000 kids. In 2009, 10,000 kids at 50 sites were served. In 2007, the foundation awarded a grant to USA Swimming to launch the Make A Splash initiative in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta to improve fitness, swimming, and water safety skills in minority youth. And in 2010, AMBFF/AFYF partnered with Georgia SHAPE to pilot the Fitnessgram in 200 schools serving 100,000 students. This partnership has resulted in "putting the battle to end childhood obesity in Georgia on the map," said Kim Thompson, executive director of the Georgia Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (GAHPERD), in a letter of support.

The foundation is also actively involved with the NFL Play 60 campaign and Let's Move in Schools.  

"Much like our former colleague Clyde Partin, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and their representatives often work behind the scenes and do not seek recognition, yet most definitely deserve to be recognized for all they do," said Therese McGuire, health and physical education specialist for the Georgia Department of Education, also a SHAPE partner, in a letter of support.

Story by DPH Communications