The Crittenton Foundation received a $25,000 grant from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), to continue Tag UR Fit, a health education and development program for young children in the Armada Public School District. Crittenton created the program in 2011 through a partnership with PNC’s signature philanthropic initiative, Grow Up Great, which aims to help prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life.
“The impact of the program exceeded our initial goals of giving children resources to develop lifelong health. The students are talking about the program at home, encouraging healthier meals and fitness activities that include the whole family. We are so grateful to the PNC Foundation for their support in helping Crittenton make a difference for young children’s health and wellness which will impact them their entire life,” said Melinda Conway Callahan, President of the Crittenton Foundation.
Tag UR Fit incorporates health education and activities into classrooms, including nutrition, fitness, life skills and character building. Students participate in challenges using an interactive software program designed by Crittenton to help track health goals and progress. A Crittenton school nurse, as well as parents and teachers, also utilize the portal. The Armada Public School District was presented with the 2012 Education Excellence Award by the Michigan Association of School Boards for its innovative and successful implementation of Tag UR Fit and other health initiatives. Since its inception, the program has provided health, nutrition and social development for approximately 600 students.
The grant has also provided books in all Armada elementary classrooms that integrate math and reading into health lessons, helping to incorporate program components into the permanent curriculum. “Our goal is to make Tag UR Fit a self-sustaining program in Armada and a model for schools across the country to replicate. Good health is essential to childhood development: healthy minds and bodies advance student growth and achievement,” said Conway Callahan.
“We believe that early childhood education is the best investment a bank or any organization can make,” says Ric DeVore, PNC regional president for Detroit and Southeast Michigan. “In partnering with Crittenton, we are helping to develop healthy habits for optimal childhood development and a lifetime of wellness.”