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Competition Encourages Schools to Get Moving

The Fire Up Your Feet Fall Activity Challenge runs from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31.

The students and staff at Cherryland Elementary School in Hayward were understandably excited when they learned they’d earned a second-place award and $1,200 in the Fire Up Your Feet Spring Activity Challenge earlier this year.

Next month they’ll start working toward a first-place finish in the upcoming fall challenge, which runs Oct. 1 through Oct. 31. The Fire Up Your Feet activity challenges reward schools that track the physical activity of students, staff, and parents.

Cherryland Principal Itoco Garcia said that students and parents get fired up about the challenges because they understand that being active is connected to healthy living and they know their efforts to be active will be rewarded.

About 80 percent of the students in the school are part of the free and reduced-price lunch program, and about 60 percent of them are English language learners.

“Any time low-income communities are empowered to financially support their neighborhood school, there’s a strong feeling of pride and accomplishment when they’re able to succeed,”

Supporting Community Health

Fire Up Your Feet is a core program of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, available to any elementary and middle school nationally. The national program is made possible in partnership with Kaiser Permanente. The National PTA is the  family engagement partner.

The program offers free resources, an online activity tracker, a school fundraising organizer, and more, all aimed at increasing physical activity before, during, and after school for students, parents, school staff, and teachers.

The Fire Up Your Feet Fall Activity Challenge offers $41,000 in awards for California schools to support Safe Routes to School and other health and wellness programs and equipment. With awards in several categories this year, schools have even more chances to win.

PeopleForBikes Awards
PeopleForBikes supports this award honoring dedication to bicycling to school. The school in each region that tracks the most bicycling minutes during the challenge will win a $500 award and a package of bicycling products and discounts.

Fire Up Your Walk to School Day Awards
In each region, schools with a minimum of 25 walkers at the end of the challenge will be entered into a drawing for Fire Up Your Walk to School awards ranging from $100 to $500.

Fire Up Your Feet Awards
Fire Up Your Feet awards ranging from $200 to $5,000 are awarded to schools that track the most activity during the month of October.

Weekly Breakout Challenge Awards
Schools can also compete for weekly Breakout Challenge awards in a variety of categories. One example is the 3-2-1 Blastoff Award, which offer $200 to the first 10 schools that have 20 participants tracking their activity in the first week of the fall challenge.

Earlier this year, more than 352 schools across the country participated in the Spring Activity Challenge. The challenge resulted in 16.7 million minutes of physical activity tracked and logged, and more than $70,000 in challenge grants were awarded.

In Hayward, Cherryland Elementary School used its Fire Up Your Feet award money to buy soccer goals and other sports equipment that included jump ropes, kick balls, and four-square balls. Principal Garcia said the new equipment makes it easy for students to be active during recess.

Learn more by visiting the Fire Up Your Feet website.

09/17/14

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