/PRNewswire/ -- Cartoon Network is taking NATIONAL RECESS WEEK, now in its third year, to record heights in 2009. The March 2-6 celebration will feature sports and fitness celebrities, nearly 7,000 public and private elementary schools, $100,000 in school health and wellness grants and more than 100,000 iconic red rubber balls. Crowning the weeklong campaign will be a nationwide effort by participating kids to set a brand new Guinness World Record in four-square. The multi-faceted pro-social campaign was created in 2006 as part of Cartoon Network's overall GET ANIMATED program to celebrate the multiple physical, emotional and scholastic benefits of daily recess for kids ages 6-12 in elementary schools across the country. The 2009 operation will conclude with spring GET ANIMATED events at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a 40-city GET ANIMATED Tour this summer.
NBA superstar and Summer Olympics gold medalist Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat guard) will once again serve as national spokesperson and on-air/online PSA host for NATIONAL RECESS WEEK, representing Cartoon Network's ongoing partnership with the National Basketball Association's social responsibility arm, NBA Cares (www.nba.com/nba_cares). Additionally, former tennis pro and BGCA spokesperson Anna Kournikova and health and wellness expert Jillian Michaels (The Biggest Loser) will attend onsite elementary school efforts in Miami and New York on Tuesday, March 3 to set an official Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous game of four-square, a popular indoor/outdoor recess activity. The event will be staged at noon (ET) to accommodate all public and private schools that have registered their students to participate in the Guinness record-setting event. Cartoon Network will stage a minimum 120 concurrent games of four-square with multiple participants in order to set the new world record.
"I've always enjoyed working with kids and I'm grateful that my involvement with the NBA can help shine some needed light on how recess can be both fun and healthy," said Wade. "NATIONAL RECESS WEEK fits right in line with my Wade's World Foundation, which provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health and social skills for kids in at- risk situations. It's all about what's best for kids, so I'm delighted to play a role in Cartoon Network's yearly campaign."
"This annual event has become a favorite for all of us at Cartoon Network as it offers the opportunity to benefit elementary schools across the country along with the chance to personally volunteer and serve kids in our own neighborhoods," said Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer for Turner Broadcasting's Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media group. "Studies have shown that daily recess provides not only vital physical exercise but a much-needed break for all kids to refresh and re-energize for their in- classroom work." Snyder continued, "We're grateful that principals and gym teachers all over the country have embraced NATIONAL RECESS WEEK and recognize recess' rightful place within each school day."
Cartoon Network will once again commit $100,000 in financial assistance to schools that signed up between Jan. 4 and Feb. 15 at www.GetAnimated.com for a chance to win one of ten $10,000 recess grants. Winning schools will be selected in five separate regions across the U.S. -- two schools per territory -- and officially awarded the grant during NATIONAL RECESS WEEK. Nearly 7,000 public and private elementary schools participated in this year's free grant drawing.
Mayors in 30 major cities across the country -- nearly twice the number involved last year -- have officially proclaimed March 2-6 as their city's NATIONAL RECESS WEEK. Their shared goal is to help encourage more schools to participate in local recess celebration events and volunteer efforts now and throughout the school year.
Additional partners linking up with Cartoon Network and NBA Cares for the 2009 NATIONAL RECESS WEEK campaign include the National Association for Sport & Physical Education (NASPE), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Physical Activity and Health Branch, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and the Association of Junior Leagues International.
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