Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has marked Feb. 1 as Walk On! Day, in recognition of a program to help target childhood obesity. To celebrate, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona hosted a Walk On! Day special event on Feb. 1 at Orangewood Elementary School, a Title I school in the Washington Elementary School District located at 7337 N. 19 Ave.

Two teams of students at Orangewood Elementary School compete to unscramble their letters to spell a word during the Walk On! Challenge on Feb. 1. The Blue team narrowly beat the Orange team by spelling out “broccoli” before the other team could finish with “tomato” (photo by Teri Carnicelli).

The event involved more than 240 fourth- and fifth-grade students, teachers and school administration members, broken into two sessions and held inside the school’s auditorium.

The goal of Walk On! Day is to get students and teachers excited about participating in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona’s month-long health education program that is free to schools and takes place in February. Orangewood Elementary has been participating in the annual Walk On! Challenge since its inception, which now includes 200 schools and more than 23,000 students.

“Orangewood was one of our first schools to participate so it seemed fitting to be back here for today’s event,” said Myrna Collins, BCBS-AZ Health Promotion executive.

The students, who wore matching Walk On! Day T-shirts, participated in a cheer for healthy habits, competed in games that enforced messages about healthy habits, and got some exercise while dancing and singing.

The interactive rally focused on teaching students the principles of the Walk On! Challenge’s 5-2-1-0 goal. The goals 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.

Participants also received a yogurt and fresh fruit parfait as an example of a healthy snack when each rally was over. Teachers receive a health-education program guide from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona to help keep the momentum going throughout the month.