The results are in and schools across the country are celebrating their wins from the 2015 Fire Up Your Feet Spring Challenge competition.
Among the top winners this year were students, staff and teachers at KIPP DC-Heights Academy in southeast DC who brought home a First Place Award and two Breakout Awards for a total of $1,600 in award funds.
“Physical activity is so important to Heights Academy students. Walking, jump roping, playing tag, and playing sports in PE class helps them get the wiggles out, giving them the ability to better concentrate on their studies and establishing an early love of being physically active,” said the school’s physical education instructor, Jonathan McSwain.
The school plans to use their award funds to purchase new gymnastics and tumbling equipment for PE classes and to support the presidential physical fitness challenge.
At Manitou Springs Middle School in Colorado, the Fire Up Your Feet activity tracker was the big attraction. The school won multiple awards totaling $2,300 in award funds.
“Fire Up Your Feet has changed Manitou Springs Middle School by having students come together and want to exercise and log it in the activity tracker. I am so glad there are new programs starting like Fire Up Your Feet, I think it has a good impact on kids to keep moving, and also for younger kids.” said Elijah, a student at Manitou Springs Middle School.
Fire Up Your Feet was launched in 2013 as part of Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools and is aimed at increasing physical activity before, during and after school, and helping participants stay motivated in a fun and friendly environment. The program also supports schools with resources to fundraise in a healthy way.
At participating schools, parents, students and school staff kept track of their physical activity during the month long challenge using the Fire Up Your Feet online activity tracker. Schools can win Challenge Awards in several categories, including most overall participation, highest weekly activity tracking numbers, most bicycling, most walking, and more. The awards help to support walking school bus programs, the purchase of bike racks, safety vests, incentives for Walking Wednesdays, traffic safety countermeasures to help promote more walking and biking, and much more.
But truth be told, everybody is a winner with Fire Up Your Feet
“It’s so exciting to see schools embracing Fire Up Your Feet and getting into the action,” says Peggy Agron, national director for Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools. “It’s been such an engaging program and we’re proud to partner with Safe Routes to School National Partnership and others to bring this program to schools as a way to engage parents, students, teachers and school staff in getting more physical activity before, during and after school.”
Since the launch of Fire Up Your Feet, Kaiser Permanente and Fire Up Your Feet have awarded more than $290,000 to participating schools as of June 2015. Visit the Fire Up Your Feet website for a full list of winners from this year’s Spring Challenge.
The next Activity Challenge will take place October 1-31, 2015 and is open to any K-8 public, private or charter school in sponsoring regions.* Sign up at fireupyourfeet.org.
*Sponsoring regions include: Metro Atlanta, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Southern Nevada, Virginia, Washington D.C., Wisconsin, Oregon and Southwest Washington.