ACC Teams up with United Way, USA TODAY Charitable Foundation To Launch 'Healthy Teens' Initiative

Nov. 1, 2011

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) - The Atlantic Coast Conference today announced that it has joined forces with United Way and USA TODAY Charitable Foundation to provide a cross-curricular health and wellness literacy program to inspire middle school students. The program aims to build a better quality of life for the students, their families and their communities. ACC student-athletes will be instrumental in the success of this program in which they will serve as role models and deliver the interactive curriculum in area classrooms.

“The United Way Healthy Teens initiative is a tremendous opportunity for the Atlantic Coast Conference to make a direct impact on the lives of young people,” noted ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “ACC student-athletes are key role models in communicating a message of health and wellness and this curriculum will be a great asset to the communities within our footprint. I’m proud of our long and rich partnership with United Way and I commend USA TODAY for creating this program.”

“United Way is focused on increasing healthy behaviors in youth,” said Jim Morrison, President of United Way of North Carolina. “The Healthy Teens program allows us to take our ACC partnership to a whole new level by engaging student-athletes as role models for the next generation of healthy kids. Thanks to USA TODAY for joining us and creating an exciting classroom curriculum that pairs collegiate athletes with middle school students for success.”

The 16-week pilot program will focus on educating our youth on healthy living by exposing classrooms to current, real-world information from the pages of USA TODAY delivered by ACC student-athletes. The program aims to not only promote good nutrition and physical activity, but to increase reading and comprehension skills, encourage critical thinking and problem-solving and educate and empower a generation to make healthy choices.

Educators and students will receive the electronic edition of USA TODAY five times per week as well as be granted access to the Healthy Teens microsite with curriculum materials such as service-learning projects and competitions and libraries of health and wellness articles. Prizes will be awarded to one winning school per participating market, including $500 towards advancing youth health and wellness causes, an exclusive trophy designed by the ACC, and a Certificate of Accomplishment.

During the 2011-12 academic year, six ACC institutions will participate in their local communities over a 16-week time period with the remaining six set to participate in 2012-13. The six pilot institutions are Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

The initiative will mark another partnership between the Atlantic Coast Conference and United Way, who have been community partners for over 15 years.