For the 13th consecutive year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona inspired students to be a part of its Walk On! Challenge, held last month at elementary schools across the state.
This year’s launch event took place Feb. 1 at Sunnyslope Elementary, 245 E. Mountain View Road, where nearly 200 students were divided into back-to-back assemblies with contests, movement, and a free healthy snack at the end.
BCBSAZ’s goal is to educate and inspire fourth- and fifth-grade students, their teachers and their families to focus on healthy choices that can be made daily with the 5-2-1-0 goal. The program components include encouraging participants to eat 5 fruits and veggies a day, spend 2 hours a day or less of screen time, get 1 hour of physical activity every day, and consume 0 sugary drinks.
Sunnyslope Elementary math teacher Lekeisha “LK” Weimerskirch signed up her class last year to participate in the Walk On! Challenge, and was able to get all of the school’s fourth and fifth grade classrooms and teachers to sign on this year.
“We can relate a lot of it to math, with graphing the goals and successes, and then comparing the charts to other classes’ results, so it makes it a fun competition,” she explained.
Weimerskirch added that the health curriculum often takes a back seat because it’s not a critical part of state testing, so this challenge offers an opportunity to bring health education into the classrooms during the month February, but in a fun and engaging way.
The month-long health education program is provided by BCBSAZ for free to teachers who sign up, and includes activities that can be done in and outside the classroom, as well as goals for students to achieve while at home.