About Us Contact Us Press Releases Mailing List Home  
WALK ACROSS AMERICA

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

To increase awareness of walking as a physical and mental exercise
To increase levels of physical activity throughout the student body
To provide a practical supplement to the decreased opportunities for physical education in schools
To teach walking as a lifelong physical activity
To provide a program to all school aged children regardless of economic or health limitations
To increase knowledge about the benefits of exercise, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle
To promote a feeling of belonging to a team

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

1. Physical Fitness – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just released new data demonstrating that only 32 percent of our school aged children attain the recommended level of physical activity to maintain a basic level of fitness.

Obesity and chronic conditions are reaching epidemic proportions in this country, and in many cases our schools are now expected to help remedy this condition. Walking, within the school day, can be a real, literal step toward meeting this expectation. The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that walking regularly can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by as much as 43 percent, obesity by 30 percent and stroke by 20 percent.

With the increased academic burden placed on our schools, physical education often is forced to take a back seat. This total school fitness program allows physical activity to work hand in hand with academics and to become part of a daily habit for students and faculty alike.

2. Academics – An extensive collection of formatted lesson plans have been developed to Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) standards. These are designed to match the goals and data generated from the School-Walker Program. These lesson plans deal with health and nutrition, charting, graphing, math skills, geography, map reading, social studies, history and a variety of other related studies. They are made available to all participating teachers at no cost. This feature allows teachers to select any number of lesson plans that have specific pertinence to the learning goals of that class.

When the health and fitness lessons of the program are mirrored in the academic setting of the classroom, children can easily see how this healthy living program serves them in all parts of their life.

3. Business Partnerships – To keep this program accessible to all students the program has been partially underwritten by The Coalition for a Healthy America and its sponsors. In districts where schools have been mandated to create outside business partnerships, a provision has been created to allow a portion of the associated costs to be returned directly to the participating school. This school funding may be used by the participating school in any manner deemed fit by the school principal.

We will be happy to provide you with full details on this provision along with your program packets.

4. Components – Each participating school will receive a complete implementation package containing all components for starting and maintaining the program. Whether your initiative is for 20 or 2000 participants, the program as received is complete and ready for scheduled implementation. Your package includes:

Digital step counter pedometer for each participant
Web interface for logging student steps and progress
Manual log books and walking tips for students without web access
Lesson plans for teaching staff within National guidelines
Poster wall map for progress tracking
Incentive and fund-raising programs

5. Implementation – Implementation of the Walk Across America Program is simple, straightforward and does not detract from the normal operation and schedules of the school. It is highly recommended that school administration and faculty participate in the program, as leadership by example is the most powerful kind.

This program has been structured so that it may be implemented on any level that is most beneficial to each individual school. It may be rolled out to a single classroom or walking club or to the entire school body. It can be initiated as a “friendly” competition between classrooms, grade levels or even schools. The program goals may also be established as a whole-school initiative (for example: 1,000,000 steps logged during the established time frame or 500,000 calories burned or 5,000 pounds lost.)

Along with your program, you will receive a guide with many creative ideas to keep your students excited and participating. A school-walking program that encourages a team approach provides support, encouragement and greatly increases the success rate of the program.

The School-Walkers program allows you and your staff to celebrate the successes of the students. Most young people need reinforcement, recognition and friendly competition to stay involved in physical activity. We will provide you with many low or no-cost ideas that are simple and effective.

6. Media – Support for your new program from the community and parent groups is an important component of a successful roll out. When the community is able to see clearly the level of commitment your school has assumed toward the health and fitness of our children, it can facilitate stronger support for additional school projects.

Each school that participates in this program will be featured in a series of press releases distributed to local and regional television and newspaper outlets. With the growing awareness of the dangers of obesity and the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles of our children, your schools introduction of the program can become quite newsworthy. We encourage you to take full advantage of this wonderful exposure for your school and it’s commitment to health by asking someone on your staff to be available for television and newspaper interviews.

7. Results Tracking – The science behind this project helps measure and evaluate the steps taken, and progress demonstrated by the students. Using the print-outs collected by the classroom teachers, you will find invaluable information about the total steps logged by participants, total calories burned, rates of improvement as the program evolves and the improved academic skills of the students.

In turn, this data is used for media stories and scientific reporting to document the advancements made by each individual school as well as the National initiative.

8. Parents – This is a program that transfers itself easily and naturally into the home environment. Family strength and unity can be dramatically enhanced when students encourage their family to take group walks in the evenings and on weekends. It can take the form of simply taking the family dog for a walk or using the opportunity to explore area parks and recreational areas. The more the family unit becomes involved, the more support your school will receive from the community.

The school may use parent volunteers to meet on weekends at local parks and host community walking initiatives. Your students will be excited to involve their parents in the benefits of this program. When scheduling and facilities permit, hosting a brief fitness walk on campus during a parent visiting day is easy, fun and promotes a higher understanding of the importance of this program.

9. Scalability – Your School-Walker Program can be instituted on whatever level is most beneficial to your school and it’s individual needs. While it has been designed to integrate smoothly with the daily operation of an entire student body individual classrooms can use it with equal effectiveness in after school programs. It can be set up to run on a volunteer basis with sign ups from the parents or used in conjunction with existing health classes and curriculum.

Administrators are urged to look for ways to include as much of the total student body as possible. The more widespread the program becomes, the more dramatic the results will be and the more attention your school will receive from the local media.

10. Cost And Funding Support – Through donations and grant support from The National Coalition for a Healthy America (NCHA) and its supporting companies, cost assistance is in place for participation in this program.
This is a lifetime program. The students for may use it as long as they attend your school. The School-Walker Program can follow the students from year to year and from grade to grade. The lesson plans are updated each year so the academic tie-ins are always fresh and pertinent to changing curriculums.

<< back
EMAIL: info@forahealthyamerica.org           CALL: 1-877-843-2358