BLOOMFIELD, Conn., April 07, 2014 - The Cigna Foundation today announced its first World of Difference grant to Girls on the Run (GOTR) International, an organization that nurtures the strengths of girls in third through eighth grades by inspiring them to be joyful, healthy and confident. The Cigna Foundation established the new $100,000 grant program this year to work with nonprofits who are improving children's wellness, senior care, women's health and health equity - the four social priorities of "Cigna Connects," Cigna's corporate responsibility platform.
"Cigna has a strong brand promise: We'll nurture your unique strengths to help you achieve your full potential. We look forward to expressing our brand through our support of Girls on the Run - an organization dedicated to enhancing all aspects of a girl's development," said David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation.
Girls on the Run has developed a transformational physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls that teaches life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The 24-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run coaches and includes three parts: "understanding ourselves," "valuing relationships and teamwork" and "understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large." Over the course of the program, girls develop their competence, confidence, character, compassion, and connections with peers and adults - and make a meaningful contribution to their community and society, all while preparing to complete a celebratory 5K run.
"Our partnership with Cigna brings us another step closer to achieving our vision of a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams," said Elizabeth Kunz, president, GOTR.
The Cigna Foundation World of Difference Grant will enable GOTR to increase the number of US participants in the program and to assess the feasibility of international expansion.
An additional feature of the World of Difference grant approach is involvement of Cigna employees. Cigna's Women's Colleague Resource Group will be assisting GOTR in helping empower girls who participate in the program. The World of Difference model also envisions a complete partnership that includes resources from Cigna's businesses. To fulfill this goal, additional Cigna sponsorship funding will support health education, volunteer participation and communication materials at GOTR events.
"The World of Difference approach is all about focusing Cigna's total giving on innovative projects and energetic health-related organizations. This partnership with Girls on the Run exemplifies that exciting new vision," Figliuzzi said.
About the Cigna Foundation
The Cigna Foundation, founded in 1962, is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.
Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 80 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
About Girls on the Run International
Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd to 8th grade designed to develop and enhance girls' competencies to successfully navigate life experiences. At Girls on the Run, trained and supportive coaches and volunteers teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goals of the program are to develop and improve competence, unleash confidence through accomplishment, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community, all while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. For more information about Girls on the Run® visit www.girlsontherun.org.