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Bluff Park Elementary School Receives Grant from ING U.S. to Get Kids Moving

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09-17-2013 (BPES) - ING U.S. today announced Bluff Park Elementary School as one of 59 recipients from 26 states across the U.S. to receive an up to $2,500 grant to inspire students to be more active and adopt healthy choices to carry into adulthood. In its fifth year, the ING Run For Something Better® School Awards Program, presented by retirement, investment and insurance leader ING U.S. in partnership with the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), is helping to introduce kindergarten through eighth-grade students across the country to the benefits of running and active lifestyles through school-based running programs.

Bluff Park Elementary School will receive $1,000 immediately, and up to $2,500, based on the participation to support a minimum of an eight-week running program that will conclude with a culminating running event in celebration of the students’ achievements. Schools can download unique running lesson plans developed by AAHPERD. Other program materials, such as sample eight-week training plans, distance logs and a running journal will aid in the development of running skills and preparation for a culminating running event.

“ING U.S. is committed to supporting education and offering a solution to educators who are dedicated to helping their students get active and reduce childhood obesity,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING U.S. Foundation and head of the ING U.S. Office of Corporate Responsibility. “Childhood obesity is an important social issue, and we realize schools need additional resources to help fully engage their students in enjoying and leading healthy lifestyles. Through ING Run For Something Better school-based running programs, we are empowering children across the nation to take charge of their health.”

Grant awards were available in all states and the District of Columbia to elementary or middle schools for running programs that targeted kindergarten- through eighth-grade students. Nearly 300 schools applied for the 2013 ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program. An AAHPERD review board consisting of 80 teachers and education administrators reviewed all applications.

Nationally, ING U.S. has committed more than $4 million of grants to school-based running programs through ING Run For Something Better. In 2012, the ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program awarded 50 grants to schools in 26 states providing 7,318 students the opportunity to discover running as a fun and easy way to increase physical activity and learn how to make healthy lifestyles choices. Students participating in the program ran a total of 128,045 miles – that’s over 2,253,592 football fields!

“AAHPERD is thrilled to once again be a part of this exciting opportunity for children by assisting schools in providing another outlet for their students to be active,” said Cheryl Richardson, senior director of programs at AAHPERD. “Through programs such as the ING Run For Something Better grant opportunity, we are helping children achieve the minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity they need every day and we are introducing them to activities that they will enjoy doing for a lifetime.”

To learn more about the program and how to get your school involved, visit www.orangelaces.com. Grant applications for 2014 will be accepted beginning in December of 2013.

About ING

ING U.S. (NYSE: VOYA), which plans to rebrand in the future as Voya Financial, is a premier retirement, investment and insurance company serving the financial needs of approximately 13 million individual and institutional customers in the United States. The company's vision is to be America's Retirement Company and its guiding principle is centered on solving the most daunting financial challenge facing Americans today — retirement readiness. Working directly with clients and through a broad group of financial intermediaries, independent producers, affiliated advisors and dedicated sales specialists, ING U.S. provides a comprehensive portfolio of asset accumulation, asset protection and asset distribution products and services. With a dedicated workforce of approximately 7,000 employees, ING U.S. is grounded in a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family and one institution at a time.

For more information, visit http://ing.us 

About the ING Run For Something Better®

ING Run For Something Better® helps fund school-based running programs and final-mile running events across America. As part of ING U.S.’s commitment to education, the program advocates curbing childhood obesity through prevention — teaching kids early on about the benefits of physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Nationally, ING U.S. has committed more than $4 million of grants to school-based running programs through ING Run For Something Better. Since 2006, the program has raised an additional $1.7 million through its “Orange Laces” campaign. For every $10 donation, supporters receive a pair of orange shoelaces, symbolizing that they’re “tied” to youth fitness. All net proceeds go to ING Run For Something Better fitness programs. For more information about ING Run For Something Better, go to orangelaces.com.

About the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)

The vision of AAHPERD is “Healthy People – Physically Educated and Physically Active!” Headquartered in Reston, VA, 25 miles west of Washington, DC, AAHPERD is the largest organization of professionals involved in physical education, physical activity, dance, school health and sport—all specialties related to achieving an active, healthy lifestyle. Founded in 1885, its mission is to advance professional practice and promote research related to health and physical education, physical activity, dance and sport by providing its members with a comprehensive and coordinated array of resources, support and programs to help practitioners improve their skills to further the health and well-being of the American public.

For more information, visit www.aahperd.org 

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