DETROIT, Oct. 10, 2023 – The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Michigan (“Molina”), today presented a $25,000 grant to Playworks Michigan, a nonprofit that leverages the power of play to help children build valuable social and emotional skills as well as promote physical activity. The MolinaCares TeamUp+ grant will support lower-elementary students in the Academy of the Americas, a Spanish dual immersion school that promotes conflict resolution, leadership, and confidence-building for students in underserved areas.
The MolinaCares TeamUp+ grant will support a full-time Playworks Michigan coach that will develop programming for recess, classroom learning, youth leadership programs, and after-school sport leagues. The grant will also fund professional development and training for school staff and others supporting the students.
The Academy of the Americas serves 475 students, 84% of which are considered low-income. A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report showed at least 50% of K-5 students in Detroit show signs of needing mental health support. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that play helps children develop a variety of skills, including problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking.
Additionally, Molina’s support allows Playworks Michigan to provide a range of professional training and ongoing development to school staff, paraprofessionals, and out-of-school care providers to create and maintain a positive recess environment throughout the school year.
“The health and well-being of children is critical to the future of a community and Molina is proud to support Playworks and its programs that help build important life skills,” said Terrisca Des Jardins, plan president for Molina Healthcare of Michigan. “Molina continues to invest in the holistic approach to wellness in Michigan by supporting organizations committed to meeting the needs of those they serve.”
Additionally, Molina employees are volunteering to help with beautification efforts, including cleaning up the playground, repainting the recess area, and planting flowers in the school yard.
“We are grateful for our collaboration with Molina to beautify and renew this playground area for the south Detroit community, ensuring students have a safe space for play,” said Christa Williams, program director for Playworks Michigan. “We are also thankful for our long-time partnership with Academy of the Americas and our role in equipping students with leadership skills, as well as instilling the vital importance of play in their lives.”
Learn more about the community-based organizations supported by MolinaCares here.
About The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation:
The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) established in 2020 by Molina Healthcare, Inc. The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation was created to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations by funding meaningful, measurable, and innovative programs and solutions that improve health, life, and living in local communities.
About Molina Healthcare of Michigan:
Molina Healthcare of Michigan has been providing government-funded health care since 1997. The Company serves members through Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare-Medicaid (Duals), and Health Insurance Exchange programs throughout Michigan. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company provides managed healthcare services under the Medicaid and Medicare programs and through the state insurance marketplaces. Molina Healthcare served approximately 5.2 million members as of June 30, 2023, located across 19 states. For more information about Molina Healthcare of Michigan, visit MolinaHealthcare.com.
About Playworks Michigan:
Playworks was founded in 1996 and, for over 25 years, has provided kids with foundational skills for success on the playground, in the classroom, and in the community. Playworks’ Michigan office launched in 2010 and has impacted more than 140,000 children across the state during its tenure. Playworks is the leading organization, nationally and locally, that leverages play to promote healthy behaviors and increase social and emotional learning at recess and throughout the school day. Playworks has demonstrated the transformative power of play for developing important life skills, creating positive school environments, and increasing children’s engagement in school. By creating opportunities for kids to experience joy, teamwork, and a sense of belonging in their school community, Playworks is instilling in students the importance of friendship, respect, collaboration, and inclusion, all of which are critical for success at school and in life.