News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
June 20, 2012

Media Contact:
Victoria Mallette

Conchita Ruiz-Topinka

Expanded Summer Camp Fitness Program Kicks-Off

Kids Moving with the Morning Mile Sponsored by AvMed

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
Miami-Dade Parks' "Fit-to-Play" summer campers are on their way to running more than 26,000 miles with the expansion of the successful Morning Mile program sponsored by AvMed Health Plans.   During the first week of summer camp, Morning Mile kick-offs were held at parks all across Miami-Dade, including Country Village, Jefferson Reaves, Sr., and Hammocks Community Parks.  Children begin their day with a morning run, jog or walk.  For every five miles, they receive collectible necklace charms.  Twenty-six summer camps now participate in the Morning Mile program.

"The Morning Mile Program works.  We have seen children improve their fitness habits and lose weight," said Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys.  "The more kids are moving, the less likely they are to be battling childhood obesity."

"Given that one out of every five kids in America is considered overweight, any program that keeps children active and engaged in healthy activities is a step (in this case, literally) in the right direction," said James M. Repp, AvMed Senior Vice President.

"The Morning Mile Program not only gets kids active, it's fun," said Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Joe A. Martinez.  "It's great to see Miami-Dade Parks and AvMed going the extra mile for our community's kids."

Developed by Fitzness International in Gainesville, FL, the Morning Mile was first introduced last summer to more than 1,200 campers, ages 6 -14, at 20 sites.  Campers logged an average of three miles per week for a total of 26,079 miles.  The program has since expanded to 25 sites.

About AvMed Health Plans:
AvMed has been providing health care coverage to Florida citizens and businesses for over 40 years, serving large and small employers in most major markets around the state. AvMed provides Medicare Advantage products in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and Individual coverage in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. For more information visit AvMed.

About the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information about Miami-Dade Parks call 3-1-1, or visit Miami-Dade Parks.

To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call 305-755-7848.


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