Healthy Central Florida Will Award $25,000 in Grants for Innovative Ideas to Help People be More Active

Local moms who developed a walk to school program are one example of how a small grant can inspire big change


 WHAT:             In celebration of National Walk and Bike to School Day, Healthy Central Florida (HCF) is teaming up with local moms to bring awareness to the need for more community based programs that inspire healthier living, including walking and biking to school. HCF will offer $25,000 total in grants for innovative project ideas that get people biking, walking and moving more in Eatonville, Maitland and Winter Park.  Increasing the number of children who walk and bike to school is one of Healthy Central Florida’s priorities.  They are teaming  up with “Walk and Roll,” a program created by three local moms in Maitland to encourage more kids to walk or bike to school, knowing that it helps children be healthier and better able to focus and learn. “Since we launched five years ago, we have doubled the number of students participating and attracted over $400,000 in federal grants and local mini-grants,” said Michelle Sartor, co-founder of Walk and Roll.


Join us on May 8th, National Bike to School Day, and meet one of the moms who co-founded the “Walk and Roll” program, as well as national “walkability expert”, Mark Fenton, who will lead the Healthy Central Florida grant workshop later in the day. Forty years ago, nearly 50 percent of children walked or biked to school. Today, only 13 percent of kids are engaging in this activity. This decrease in walking or biking to school coincides with a sharp increase in the obesity rate for children, which has more than quadrupled in the past four decades for children ages six to 11, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The “Walk and Roll” program is great example of what HCF is looking to inspire others to create.


Later in the day, more than 100 participants will gather for HCF’s Health Innovation Grant Workshop to find out how they can bring their ideas to fruition, like the moms in Maitland. The workshop which will be led by nationally renowned community design and environmental change expert and former host of the PBS series America’s Walking, Mark Fenton – HAS REACHED CAPACITY.


BKGD:           Healthy Central Florida (HCF) is a community-based initiative created and supported by Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) to help local communities embrace health and wellness. Focused initially on Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville, HCF has convened and trained community leadership teams representing various sectors, including business, faith, education, healthcare and government in the three communities to consider policy and environmental changes at all levels that make it easier to live a healthier lifestyle.  HCF will introduce several tools and resources to effect health changes in the individual, family, community and beyond.


WHERE:               1830 King Arthur Circle

Maitland, FL 32751

**1 mile walk to Dommerich Elementary School/Maitland Middle School – Return transportation will be provided.


WHEN:                 Wednesday, May 8, 2013

                                  7:40 a.m.

Walk Begins at 7:55 a.m. SHARP


VISUALS:        Interviews, photo and video opportunities, including:

·          Join advocates, parents and community leaders as they walk with children less than a mile to Maitland Middle School

·         Speak to one of the three moms who founded “Walk and Roll” about why she thinks it is important for kids to walk/bike to school and the importance of this grant money to develop and implement grassroots ideas

·         Speak to national walkability expert and former host of PBS TV series, America’s Walking,Mark Fenton

·         Learn about the health benefits of walking/biking to school

·         Find out why $25,000 total in grants is being offered for programs that will improve community health