Official Newsletter of the President's Challenge

General Mills Foundation Partners with PYFP

$10 million donation made to PYFP is largest in Foundation's history

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Let's Move! celebrated its third anniversary at a February 28th event in Chicago with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Mrs. Obama discussed the need for increased physical activity opportunities in schools and launched Let's Move! Active Schools, a program that emphasizes quality physical education. Let's Move! Active Schools empowers PE teachers, classroom teachers, principals, administrators, and parents to create active environments that enable all students to get moving and reach their full potential. A central focus of that is the new Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP), which replaces the long-standing Youth Fitness Test, in place since 1956. The PYFP employs the latest science and promotes health and physical activity for America's youth.

At the event, General Mills Foundation, the inaugural sponsor of PYFP, committed a history-making $10 million over six years to help implement the new Presidential Youth Fitness Program, a comprehensive, school-based health and fitness assessment program, nationwide. A portion of the donation includes in-kind marketing expertise to raise awareness and school participation in the program.

"General Mills is thrilled to be here today to support the First Lady's efforts to improve youth fitness," said Kim Nelson, senior vice president of external relations at General Mills and president of the General Mills Foundation. "We believe the Presidential Youth Fitness Program will provide a groundbreaking, sustainable approach to improving the health and well-being of our nation's youth. This new partnership allows General Mills to broaden our commitment and positively impact even more young people."

PYFP includes a health-related assessment, as well as professional development for physical educators and recognition opportunities to empower students to engage in regular physical activity for a lifetime.

The new program is voluntary and represents a significant change in how schools approach kids' physical fitness and assesses students' health-related fitness and helps them progress over time instead of recognizing athletic performance as the Youth Fitness Test did.

"The Presidential Youth Fitness Program isn't about who is the fastest or the strongest. It is about healthy kids and lifelong physical activity," said Dr. Jayne Greenberg, President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition council member. "The General Mills Foundation has a strong track record in supporting youth nutrition and fitness and we are grateful for their commitment and the marketing expertise they will provide to help us make this new program a success."

PYFP aims to reach an unprecedented 90 percent of schools across the nation by 2020 with assessment tools, professional development training and resources for teachers, as well as recognition for students. The program could have a positive impact on more than 50 million school-aged youth.

The General Mills Foundation joins PYFP partners, including the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN), the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), The Cooper Institute®, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that all schools have access to resources that will support the implementation of PYFP.

General Mills Foundation has long been focused on youth nutrition and fitness. Through its flagship Champions for Healthy Kids grant program, in partnership with the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, General Mills has reached nearly 1 million kids with nutrition and fitness programming since 2002.

The mission of the General Mills Foundation is to nourish communities. Continuing its tradition of generous giving and global community support, General Mills contributed more than $143 million to charitable causes in fiscal year 2012. General Mills invests in and collaborates with community organizations and programs that focus on alleviating hunger and advancing nutrition wellness. In addition, 83 percent of the company's U.S. employees volunteer. To learn more about the ways General Mills nourishes lives through philanthropy and community engagement, visit them on Facebook at GeneralMills.com/en/Responsibility/Community_Engagement.