500 Festival Announces Indiana University Health as Presenting Sponsor of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program

500 Festival Announces Indiana University Health as Presenting Sponsor of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program

Fri, 2011-11-18 04:24

Program for Indiana fourth graders provides Academic Standards and Curriculum

INDIANAPOLIS (November 18, 2011) – Indiana University Health, Indiana’s largest comprehensive health system, has become the presenting sponsor for the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program. IU Health is comprised of hospitals, physicians and allied services dedicated to providing preeminent care throughout Indiana and beyond.

“This educational program is instrumental in teaching Indiana youth the rich history of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 events that shape our state and its communities. We are honored to have Indiana University Health, who has long-standing relationships with the race and the Festival further supporting it,” said Kirk Hendrix, President and CEO, 500 Festival.

The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program strives to educate and foster creativity in Hoosier fourth-grade students by using the historical, social and economic significances of the 500 Festival, Indianapolis 500 and the thriving motorsports industry of Indiana in the curriculum. Through this award-winning Indiana Academic Standards based curriculum, the program offers a variety of interesting and thought-provoking lessons and projects that focus on history, science, health, language arts, physical education, visual arts and mathematics. This program is packed with information including teacher materials, a video and the unique opportunity for an educational Study Trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway® in April or May. Through the support of sponsors, the program is offered free to students, teachers and their schools.

“The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program not only educates young Hoosiers on one of our strongest traditions, but also helps fight childhood obesity by encouraging physical activity,” said Ron Stiver, IU Health’s senior vice president for engagement and public affairs. “We are pleased to combine efforts with the 500 Festival as part of our broader effort to combat the growing obesity epidemic.”

Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 14 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation’s leading medical schools – gives their highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology.

Last year nearly 24,000 Indiana fourth graders from 321 schools and 79 Indiana counties participated in the award-winning program. More than 154,000 have participated since its inception in 2004. Deadline for educators to enroll their fourth-grade classrooms in the program is December 1, 2011. Registration is available online at www.500festival.com. For more information, call (317) 614-6129.

The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program presented by Indiana University Health is sponsored by the 500 Festival, the 500 Festival Foundation, Indianapolis Motor Speedway®, Methodist Health Foundation, BKD, LLP, the American Dairy Association of Indiana, AAA Hoosier Motor Club and IZOD IndyCar Series®. 

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The mission of the 500 Festival is to produce events and programs that celebrate the success of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Indiana and their guests. These events and programs, produced largely by volunteers, enhance the image of our city and state by showcasing our cultural, educational and social benefits to the world.

The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 55 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation.

Last year, more than 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in nearly 50 events and programs throughout the month of May. Whether they were athletes running the Mini, fourth grade students participating in the Education Program, families enjoying the state’s largest festival for kids or spectators being dazzled by one of the nation’s premier parades, they were there, celebrating the legacy.

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