Thousands of students, families and school staff at more than 352 schools across the country participated in the Spring Activity Challenge, competing to win awards while supporting physical activity and wellness programs at school. The challenge resulted in 16.7 million minutes of activity tracked and logged, and more than $70,000 in challenge grants were awarded to participating K-8 schools in select sponsored regions.*
“Kaiser Permanente is pleased to partner with Safe Routes to School National Partnership, schools wellness champions, students and their families to help create healthier school environments where everyone can thrive,” said Loel Solomon, vice president, Community Health, Kaiser Permanente. “Healthy schools are a key component of our approach to creating Total Health for our members and the communities we serve. Fire Up Your Feet is a great way to engage more people in this important work while providing schools with resources they can really use to increase physical activity before, during and after school.”
At participating schools, parents, students and school staff were invited to keep track of their physical activity during the month-long challenge using the Fire Up Your Feet online activity tracker. Schools won challenge awards in several categories, including most overall participation, highest weekly activity tracking numbers, most bike activity, and more. Awards are used to support activities such as walking school bus programs; the purchase of bike racks and safety vests; incentives for Walking Wednesdays; traffic safety countermeasures to help promote more walking and biking and much more. The enthusiasm among students, parents and teachers also shows how much demand there is for physical activity and school wellness.
At Northmont Elementary School in La Mesa, Calif. (outside San Diego), Fire Up Your Feet was a catalyst for not only getting the school community to be more active, but it was also how Iris Nix, a parent at the school, learned more about her school’s wellness policy and how it could be used to better support health and wellness at the school. Northmont Elementary was the winner of a $1000 challenge award.
“Fire Up Your Feet gave our PTA the resources to get involved with our district’s child nutrition director, who creates our school district’s wellness policy, and to make connections with local groups that work in the wellness policy field. Now we’re all working together to invigorate our school wellness policy. We walk and bike to school, Run for Fun, dance and play hard to stay happy and healthy,” said Iris Hix, a parent at Northmont Elementary School in the La Mesa-Spring Valley school district in California.
Fire Up Your Feet was implemented as part of Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools in 2013. Through the Spring and Fall challenges, Kaiser Permanente and Fire Up Your Feet have awarded more than $114,000 to participating schools as of May 2014.
The next activity challenge will take place October 1-31, 2014 and is open to any K-8 public, private or charter school in a sponsored state/region.
- Learn more at fireupyourfeet.org.
- See a full list of the 2014 Fire Up Your Feet Spring Challenge award winners.
* Sponsored regions in Spring 2014: Atlanta area, Baltimore area, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, SW Washington, Wisconsin, and the Washington DC area.