For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

WXXI HEALTH CAMPAIGN TACKLES CHILD OBESITY

Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award Targets Family
Nutrition, Fitness and Safety

(Rochester, New York) February 27, 2009 – WXXI was recently awarded a three-year local service grant from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB) to continue its on-going efforts to fight childhood obesity and make a positive impact on the health of Upstate New Yorkers. WXXI will partner with PBS-affiliate WSKG in Binghamton to help educate families across the region about the importance of eating healthy, maintaining a healthy body weight and exercising.

“With our national health series Second Opinion, our monthly radio program Healthy Fridays and our annual women’s health conference, WXXI has dedicated itself to addressing the growing community concern regarding health issues," WXXI President Norm Silverstein said.  "With CPB’s support, we will be able to have an even bigger impact in helping to reduce the incidences of child obesity in our community and in helping families maintain healthy lifestyles," he added.

The Greater Rochester Health Foundation and a coalition of local health organizations identified childhood obesity as the most pressing health issue in Upstate New York. With 21% of third grade school children in Upstate New York labeled as obese, which exceeds the national rate of 16%, WXXI’s efforts in helping to reduce this alarming statistic is crucial.

WXXI will use the grant money to produce 36 “Healthy You” TV segments to promote healthy behaviors to school-aged children. The University of Rochester Medical Center will serve as content providers for the segments, which will air on WXXI-TV during Homework Hotline, a live, statewide call-in show that helps kids with their homework. The segments will also be posted online at <homeworkhotline.org> for further use by kids, families and teachers. The entire series of segments will be available on DVD as well, and be distributed to Rochester area libraries, neighborhood health centers and other underserved areas identified by WXXI’s community partners.

WXXI will also host two community forums encouraging discussions on childhood obesity, health, nutrition, and exercise. These one-hour forums will air on WXXI-TV and WSKG-TV. In addition to the televised forums, WXXI and WSKG will produce three one-hour radio specials focused on childhood obesity, nutrition and fitness. These programs will air on WXXI-AM 1370 and WSQX-FM 91.5.

WXXI will also host local “Healthy You” workshops for teachers, daycare providers, and caregivers, arming them with the information and resources needed to educate students and families on how to ensure healthy lifestyles. During these workshops, WXXI will distribute more than 200 custom-designed health education family literacy kits that will be used in the classroom, and sent home with students to use with their families.

CPB’s Local Service Initiative Matching Grant Program is designed to provide seed money to develop new or significantly enhance current public service initiatives aligned with a station's strategic plan. The core of the project is to address a community-voiced need.

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