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Students’ Mural Paints a Healthy Picture

To 100 eager and paint-spattered students from Cantara Street Elementary in Reseda, creating a massive mural about the essential elements of health was a cinch.

According to the 200-foot brilliantly colored paper mural they painted Thursday at Blue Cross of California in Woodland Hills, health means regular doctor visits, vigorous exercise and a diet low in fat and full of vegetables.

Carefully coloring in the legs of her red bathing-suited swimmer, Cantara third-grader Adrianna Sandoval--clad in a Blue Cross T-shirt that skimmed her knees--revealed her personal health regimen.

“I eat healthy,” the 9-year-old said. “I do lots of exercise and lots of swimming.”

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Classmate Daniel Abourched, also 9, expanded on Adrianna’s theme, saying, “You need to take care of your body.” His representation of that concept was a painting of a Schwarzenegger-esque 9-year-old holding a huge barbell aloft.

The Cantara students visited the Blue Cross campus Thursday as part of the “Legacy Celebration,” which marks Blue Cross’ transition from a nonprofit to a publicly traded managed-care company. As part of that transition, state law required Blue Cross to transfer all of its $3 billion in assets to independent charitable foundations, namely the California Endowment and the California Health Care Foundation.

Blue Cross also sponsored a statewide health-themed art and essay contest.

Guadalupe Castillo, a North Hollywood fifth-grader, was one of nine art contest winners.

Valley essay contest winners were Kaitlyn Krauss, a Woodland Hills fourth-grader, and Courtney Rediger, a Granada Hills fifth-grader. Justine Lee of Woodland Hills took the essay prize for elementary schoolchildren of Blue Cross employees.


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