Skip directly to content

BCBSNM Grant Supports PEEC Nature Playtimes

on June 10, 2019 - 11:41am
Children during winter at Los Alamos Nature Center practice swooping silently like owls do while looking for prey. Courtesy photo
Children listen to an owl puppet explain that it likes to eat mice. Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
ALBUQUERQUE The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) and the New Mexico Wildlife Center (NMWC) announced they received a $8,500 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) through its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® initiative.
PEEC and NMWC’s commitment to getting kids active outside in nature aligns with the vision of BCBSNM’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant program to help improve the health of children and their families in local communities.
“Because of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, we are able to offer weekly programs to young children and their caregivers completely free,” PEEC Executive Director Katie Bruell said. “And now with added support we are able to spread free programming to the Española Valley with our partners, the New Mexico Wildlife Center.”
“Our family loves the Nature Playtimes program at PEEC. I have four small children who attend,” PEEC parent Desta Parkinson said. “It is of special value to me because it gets the kids outside! Being outside is crucial to proper growth and development, and it is something society is losing. Kids are being raised in static indoor environments that do not challenge their bodies and minds the same way the outdoors does. Nature has also been proven to benefit us emotionally– boosting our moods – and improve physical health. I want my kids to develop a lifelong love for nature and being outside.”
Parkinson also said, “I love the varied, interesting activities that are included. The leaders are great with kids, too. Thank you so much for offering this program for families. It is especially important that it is free because young families often cannot afford a fee. Thank you, BCBSNM!”
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is committed to supporting the health and wellness of children,” said Dr. Eugene Sun, vice president and chief medical officer, BCBSNM. “By working with Pajarito Environmental Education Center and New Mexico Wildlife Center, we can promote stimulating, outdoor physical activity for young children and their families.”
Healthy Kids, Healthy Families is a signature program of BCBSNM. The initiative focuses on engaging children and their families in understanding the importance of nutritious food, raising the level of physical activity, better managing chronic conditions and promoting safe environments. Likewise, Nature Playtimes works to instill a lifelong love of being active outside into young children, and to model to their parents how much fun and learning can take place in nature.