CISMC Recognized for Its Continued Commitment to Improving Health

BCBSNC Foundation Reinvests $100,000 into the Organization

Chapel Hill, N.C. b The Communities In Schools of Moore County FirstSchool Garden Program recently received a $100,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation (BCBSNC Foundation). The FirstSchool Garden Program is a past BCBSNC Foundation grantee that has shown significant results. Kathleen Byron, program developer and director, will use this new investment to continue to grow the breadth and reach of the programbs successes in achieving changes in the relationship children have with food including healthy lifestyles and sustainability.

bTo educate children about making healthy choices as part of our childhood obesity prevention, we teach them an appreciation of good nutrition with a hands on approach reinforcing school curriculum in addition to healthy behaviors,b said Cynthia Bradley, executive director of Communities In Schools of Moore County. bThe BCBSNC Foundationbs support allows us to further our impact and to continue establishing and advance the garden programming in our schools in Moore County. Without their support, we could not do what we do today.b

Through the grant, Communities In Schools will increase the impact of the FirstSchool Garden Project by expanding the classroom curriculum, bolstering family involvement, enhancing professional development with teacher training through a Sandhills Community College partnership, cultivating Teen Health Ambassadors and facilitating farm to school initiatives.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the BCBSNC Foundation is investing a total of $1 million in 10 nonprofit organizations across North Carolina. Each organization, former BCBSNC Foundation grantees, received $100,000 to continue efforts that positively impact the health of their local residents.

bAfter 10 successful years, we reflect on the partnerships and relationships that are making strides in access to care, healthy eating, physical activity and enabling nonprofits to do their good work throughout North Carolina,b said Kathy Higgins, president of the BCBSNC Foundation. bOur continued investment in Communities In Schools of Moore County , along with our other nine anniversary grantees, represents our commitment to partner with organizations that are demonstrating real impact and that share in our mission b to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians.b

Communities In Schools is the nationbs largest and most effective community-based dropout prevention organization, helping young people stay in school, successfully learn, and prepare for life. Over three years the FirstSchool Garden Program has blossomed from a bseedb at one elementary school to a mainstay of student learning at 10 public schools in Moore County.

In addition to the Communities in Schools of Moore County, the nine other nonprofit organizations receiving grants as part of the 10th anniversary include:

  • Access East
  • Be Active North Carolina: Be Active KidsB.
  • Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University: MATCH program
  • The Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Inc.
  • Diabetes Management Solutions: Diabetes Bus
  • Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
  • North Carolina Association of Free Clinics
  • North Carolina Partnership for Children
  • Student Action with Farmworkers

About BCBSNC Foundation: The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is a separate, independent nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving the health and well-being of North Carolinians. BCBSNC Foundation focus areas include: Health of Vulnerable Populations b improving health outcomes of populations served by safety-net organizations; Healthy Active Communities b increasing physical activity and encouraging healthy eating habits; and Community Impact through Nonprofit Excellence b increasing the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations. Since its inception in 2000, BCBSNC Foundation has invested more than $67 million into North Carolina communities. More information is available at

About Communities In Schools of Moore County

Communities In Schools is the nationbs leading community based organization helping kids stay in school, succeed in school and be better prepared for life. CIS initiatives and programs that impact students in Moore County Schools include mentoring programs, afterschool programs, CIS FirstSchool Garden programs and the Career Academy.

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