FAIRVIEW, Ore., June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Three schools in the Reynolds School District participated in "Move It!," a walking challenge sponsored by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. Fourth and fifth-graders teamed up to walk for their health and earn prize money to benefit their schools' health and fitness programs. Physical education specialists integrated the program into their curriculum and distributed a "Move It!" backpack, water bottle and pedometer to their participating students at Fairview, Salish Ponds and Woodland Elementary. On Thursday, June 22, Regence will recognize the accomplishments of the 65 fifth-graders at Salish Ponds Elementary who took more than 25 million steps during the walking challenge. A check for $2,500 will be presented to these students at an all-school assembly. "Our goal was to help students develop healthy habits and an active lifestyle," said Bart McMullan, president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. "Walking is a positive health benefit to all kids, and we hope this program helped them to establish walking as a healthy habit." The "Move It!" program was designed to motivate students to be active every day by mixing health awareness, action and competition into the daily lives of the children. To participate, students were asked to wear a pedometer and record the number of steps they took daily. "Wearing their own pedometers, I asked 20 teachers to join in the challenge so that the children could see how their teachers compared to each other, and to the students," said Karen Roney, physical education specialist at Salish Ponds. "When the program ended, my students did not want to stop -- so I put up new posters and they are still going." Elements of the program included personal and team challenges, as well as role models -- historical explorers from the American Westward Expansion. Fairview Elementary came in second and was presented a check for $1,000 on June 14, 2006. Linda Ferris, the physical education specialist at Fairview Elementary, worked with her students to record close to seven million steps. "My students loved choosing their own goals and computing our steps into miles," said Ferris, "thanks to Regence for doing this for our kids health." "We are dedicated to ensuring that children have a healthy start, which is the foundation of a healthy life," McMullan said. "We are looking forward to this program again next year." About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon provides medical, dental and related coverage for about one million members in Oregon and in Clark County, Washington. It's part of the Regence Group, the largest affiliation of health plans in the northwest and intermountain states, collectively covering nearly three million people. The Regence Group and its affiliates are not-for-profit independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Nearly one in three Americans has health care coverage through Blue Plans. For more information, visit www.or.regence.com.
SOURCE Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon