Congratulations to the following teachers for their outstanding effort implementing the 2013 Walk On! Challenge in their classrooms.
- Lisha Davis from Elfrida Elementary in Elfrida
- Eldon Ferguson from Hulet Elementary in Holbrook
- Shari Labuwi from Desert Sun Academy in Cave Creek
- Daniel Velazquez from Wilson Elementary in Mesa
- Carol Wolbert from Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary in Tucson
These teachers each received a $5,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona for their schools to use to combat childhood obesity. Each teacher provided an outline of plans for the grant money in their grant applications. Following are the highlights from each of the grant recipients.
- Ms. Davis plans to use the grant money to provide fitness equipment that can be used in the school’s cafeteria, which would provide a safe and dry alternative when needed because the school doesn’t have a gymnasium.
- Mr. Ferguson plans to reward his fifth-graders for their successful participation in the program and take them on a field trip to hike Sunset Crater in Northern Arizona and visit the Ice Caves outside of Flagstaff.
- Ms. LaBuwi will use her school’s $5,000 grant to fund a monthly Family Fitness Night on the school’s campus as well as construct a gravel track on the outer edge of the school for students, teachers and parents alike to use to increase fitness activity.
- Mr. Velazquez plans to use the grant money to purchase the latest in pedometer activity, up-loadable pedometers that more accurately track activity and allow analysis.
- Ms. Wolbert plans to use the grant money to focus on nutrition through a quarterly Wellness Week and annual Health and Fitness Night as well as incentives for participation in the school’s Miler’s Club and other various health and fitness goals.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2013 Walk On! Challenge. Your efforts have helped fifth-graders around the state have a better understanding about healthy habits for a healthier future.
About the Walk On! Challenge School Grants
Currently one-third of all children in Arizona are either overweight or obese. These children have an elevated risk for a range of health and emotional problems — now and well into the future.
The Walk On! Challenge is only for the month of February, but kids can use all the help they can get the other 337 days of the year. Each qualifying school will have a chance to win one of five $5,000 grants for their school from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.
Grant submissions will be judged by a panel of community members with expertise in education by using a set scoring system. To qualify for a $5,000 grant, teachers must meet the following criteria:
- Show an increase in awareness among students of the importance of good nutrition and physical activity along with ways to achieve the 5-2-1-0 goal. The increase will be demonstrated through the pre- and post-Challenge surveys included in the Walk On! Challenge brochure kits.
- Demonstrate 80-percent student participation in the classroom. One hundred percent participation is defined as every student in the class submitting a tracking sheet with their participation for the month, whether they met the goal each day or not.
- Provide a summary with specific examples of what the teacher did and the curriculum or lesson plans followed during the month of the Walk On! Challenge to engage fifth-graders. Examples might include, but are not limited to, exercise opportunities during or after school, integration of Walk On! messages into curriculum, instruction about the importance of physical activity and good nutrition, and ways to increase students’ ability to reach the 5-2-1-0 goal daily.
- Submit an essay of 250 words or less about what the teacher plans to do with the $5,000 prize to combat childhood obesity and what it will mean to your school.