October 1 is right around the corner and the Fire Up Your Feet Fall Activity Challenge kicks off in less then a week! If you haven’t done so already, register and start tracking now to learn more about the updated features of our easy-to-use Activity Tracker and Fire Up Your Feet promotional resources, including customizable parent letters, newsletter blasts and updated posters.
Follow in the Fiery Footsteps of Iliahi Elementary
Since the Challenge runs throughout the month of October, you have plenty of time to get your community Fired Up. In fact, during our 2013 Spring Activity Challenge, Hawaii Fire Up Your Feet Challenge winner Iliahi Elementary was able to get the word out in less than two weeks! Thanks to the leadership of one motivated coordinator, Special Education Teacher and School Wellness Chairperson Jon Acohido, 55 students, parents and staff registered. Fire Up Your Feet materials were posted on the parent and school bulletin board and staff were sent out daily activity reminders, even starting a walking club that met twice a week!
Ignite your imagination
Iliahi used their award to purchase health curriculums and other materials. Image what a Fire Up Your Feet Challenge Award could be used for in your school community. Feet charms or stickers for monthly or weekly Walk to School Day participants? A healthy field trip? zumba classes, or to host a local chef to demonstrate healthy snack preparation at a parent night? Follow Iliahi’s example and spread the word about how easy it is to promote 60 minutes of daily energetic movement with Fire Up Your Feet.
Vienna Elementary School is famous for their Walking Wednesdays. Today, they held their third Bike Friday of the year with a total of 62 students riding their bikes today. That equals more than 1/6 of the K-6 students.
Parent organizer Sean McCall reports that more younger students are riding their bikes this year as compared to last year. Some students are even riding in on training wheels! Older students have become experts at locking up their bikes.
Using the school’s Viking mascot, students who bicycle to school receive “Biking Viking” wristbands. The wristbands were funded by a Virginia Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School Quick Start Mini-Grant.
One common concern about bikes on school campus is the mix of bicycles and pedestrians. Vienna Elementary allows students to bike on campus to the bike racks but teaches them to go slowly on school grounds. So far, it is working.
It is not too late to apply for a Quick Start Mini-Grant to start your own bicycling program if your school is in Virginia. The last application for the year is due October 17th. For more stories on the success of the Vienna schools and other schools in the region, see our Best Practices page.
Thanks to Sean McCall for all the photos!
Fire Up Your Feet is the go to resource for families, teachers, and school staff who want to encourage kids to walk, play, and get active before, during, and after the school day. Families and school staff can track their daily physical activity during the month of October for the chance to earn Challenge Awards to support wellness initiatives at school, such as bike racks, playground equipment, or a salad bar.
Walk to School Day is just four weeks away! On October 9, thousands of families will show their support for healthy, active communities by walking or rolling to school. Walk to School Day can also serve as a kick-off for your school’s Fire Up Your Feet Fall Activity Challenge – here’s how.
- First, bring Fire Up Your Feet flyers to your school PTA or PTO meeting, plan a meeting with your school principal, and when possible, invite your local Safe Routes to School or Walk to School Day coordinator. Let them know that over $50,000 in Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenge Awards will be distributed to over 100 schools across the nation, and that these awards can go a long way to support either your school’s year-round walk or bike to school efforts, or the health and wellness initiative of your school’s choosing.
- Next, encourage parents, staff and students to register to participate in the Fire Up Your Feet Fall Activity Challenge. On Walk to School Day, set up a registration table and remind them to enter their minutes spent walking or rolling on that day and once per week during the Challenge period between October 1-31. Check out these helpful videos for step-by-step tips on how to register and make the most of the easy-to-use activity tracker.
- Finally, keep it going for the rest of the month by holding weekly ‘Walk and Roll Wednesdays’ or ‘Fire Up Your Feet Fridays’ to encourage walking or biking to school. Conclude with a costumed Halloween march to school on October 31.
We all win when we help grow healthy, high performing students at our schools and Walk and Roll to School Day is a step in the right direction!