News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
September 24, 2012

Media Contact:
Edith Torres

Jessica Azambuja


The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade Receives $40,000 Grant from the Aetna Foundation

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is proud to announce that it has received a $40,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation to benefit the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces (MDPROS) "Fit-to-Play: Health, Wellness and Obesity Prevention" Out-of-School Program. Aetna focuses its grant-making on issues that improve health in three areas: Obesity, Racial and Ethnic Health Care Equity, and Integrated Health Care.

The $40,000 grant allows Miami-Dade Parks to continue its partnership with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to provide evidence-based findings to assess the effect of MDPROS' Fit-to-Play program on the child's wellness via standardized measurable outcomes, such as body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and physical fitness aptitude. The comprehensive two-year outcomes analysis will be widely distributed at the local, state and national levels and published in peer-reviewed medical publications upon completion.

Miami-Dade Parks has partnered with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics in providing oversight of its Fit-to-Play after school program with activities focused on fitness, nutrition and wellness. This unique program is designed to develop healthy habits for life and make fitness fun for kids of all ages and abilities, includes children with disabilities. Approximately 17% of US children and adolescents are obese. Childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol, low self-esteem and academic decline. Miami-Dade County Parks will track and measure the key health indicators in participants, assisting parents and children to make informed decisions about their fitness and nutrition needs.

"We are honored to have been selected by the Aetna Foundation for this award," said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys. "The fitness and wellness program inspires kids to stay healthy and active throughout their lives, and prepares them with life skills that will help them reach their potential."

For more information about Miami-Dade Parks' Fit-to-Play Out-of-School program, please visit Miami-Dade Parks.

About Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, 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 more information visit Miami-Dade Parks or call 3-1-1.

About The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade
The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that supports the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's effort to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.  For more information, visit Parks Foundation.


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