Rockville, Md. — As the national spotlight turns to increasing physical activity in schools and combating the childhood obesity epidemic, the Fire Up Your Feet spring challenge kicks-off today, providing local school-aged children with new opportunities for physical activity before, during and after school.
“Increasing physical activity for students, school staff and parents is a shared goal of Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the National PTA and Kaiser Permanente,” said Maritha Gay, executive director of Community Benefit programs, Kaiser Permanente. “Fire Up Your Feet is an integral part of our broader school wellness effort, Thriving Schools, which is designed to create a culture of good health in schools by making healthy choices the easy choices.”
The daily recommended amount of physical activity for school-aged children is 60 minutes. Participation in the Fire Up Your Feet challenge provides schools with a variety of healthy activities and safe, convenient ways to meet this recommendation in a supportive environment.
This spring, more than $70,000 will be awarded nationally to participating schools, with $13,000 to be awarded to schools throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. The challenge takes place May 1–31 and is available to all schools. Students, families and school staff can sign up, track their activity and help their school earn awards at fireupyourfeet.org
Challenge awards will help support walking school bus programs, bike racks, traffic safety education and will help encourage students and communities to enjoy more walking and biking. Throughout the challenge, Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theater Program is also working with local schools to coordinate shows that encourage students to enjoy healthy eating and physical activity.
About Fire Up Your Feet
Fire Up Your Feet is a core program of Safe Routes to School National Partnership available to any elementary and middle school (grades K-8) nationally. Made possible in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, this 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 National PTA is our family engagement partner.
About Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States region, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, provides and coordinates complete health care services for more than 500,000 members through 29 medical centers in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Founded in 1980, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is a total health organization comprised of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., an independent medical group that features more than 1,000 physicians. Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States was ranked in the nation’s 20 top commercial health plans and 10 top Medicare health plans — and the No. 1 Commercial and Medicare plan for Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. — by “NCQA Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2013-2014 Private.” For more information about Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, visit kp.org or follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/KPMidAtlantic.