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Fire Up Your Feet! Gets Families, Students, Schools More Active

Fire Up Your Feet! Gets Families, Students, Schools More Active

Walking. Such a simple act, yet so rich with possibility, adventure and fun. So good for our health.

In some places, however, the walk or bike ride to school presents safety risks families aren’t keen to accept. That’s why the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, is kicking off its Fire Up Your Feet Challenge for fall 2015.

Fire Up Your Feet is available to any elementary and middle school in grades K-8. It offers free resources, an online activity tracker healthy fundraising and more, all aimed at increasing physical activity before, during and after school for students, parents, school staff, and teachers. The National PTA is our family engagement partner. In select states and regions, schools can compete to win awards by participating in Fall and Spring Activity Challenges. This year’s Fall Activity Challenge runs October 1 – 31.

The fall campaign marks the sixth Fire Up Your Feet challenge. Since 2013, more than 65,000 students, teachers and school employees at 1,600 schools have competed for nearly $300,000 in awards in regions where Kaiser Permanente operates.

Spring Challenge Winner

Young Oak Kim Academy, a middle school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, took on the spring 2015 Fire Up Your Feet challenge in a big way. To instill regular activity habits, the school held special events, including Walk, Bike or Skate to School days and before school activity challenges. In addition, teachers agreed to incorporate 5-minute activity breaks in their daily plans.

The result: The Academy earned the largest single prize awarded in the Spring Challenge – $5,200 – by having the highest percentage of participants tracking activity during the Challenge.

Of course, increasing physical activity is its own reward. But in case your school needs extra incentives, sign up now for the Fall Challenge and your school will have the chance to win cash rewards on top of all the good things that come with “firing up your feet!”

How It Works

To sign up for the Fall Activity Challenge:

  • Go to Fire Up Your Feet.
  • If you’re new to Fire Up Your Feet, click Register to register on the site. If you’re a returning visitor, click Login. Spanish speaking audiences can register via the En Español link.
  • Earn awards by tracking activity during the Fall Challenge period in your region.

Again this fall, Fire Up Your Feet is awarding more than $100,000 to participating K-8 schools in select sponsored regions* across the country. Awards will go to support Safe Routes to School and other health and wellness programs. With awards in several categories this year, schools have even more chances to win.

Check out the how-to videos, newsletter text, flyers and sample letters on the Fire Up Your Feet website to help get the word out.

Surgeon General’s Call to Action

Recently, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy issued a call to action encouraging Americans to engage in active living through the Step It Up! Initiative. Dr. Murthy called on Americans to walk more and work to create walkable communities where they live. It’s a timely message and one that we hope encourages more families and school communities to get active with Fire Up Your Feet and other initiatives. Our health and well-being depend on it.

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John Venturino

John Venturino is a communications specialist at Kaiser Permanente. He advocates for health by riding his bike, walking, commuting on public transit, volunteering, being a blood donor, having meaningful relationships, getting his flu shot, and cooking and eating well. Follow him on Twitter @venturi_v1962

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