CHICAGO, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the national spotlight turns to increasing physical activity in schools and combating the childhood obesity epidemic through expanding opportunities for physical activity, the national expansion of the Fire Up Your Feet program this spring will create new opportunities for physical activity to, from and at schools and in daily life for students and families around the country. Fire Up Your Feet is a recognized program of the Let's Move Active Schools initiative announced today by First Lady Michelle Obama in Chicago.
"Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the National PTA and Kaiser Permanente share goals with Let's Move Active Schools around the importance of increasing physical activity for children, school staff and parents," said Deb Hubsmith, director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. "Fire Up Your Feet is a leap forward in creating positive, early experiences to ensure that every child can achieve 60 minutes of daily physical activity a day while also encouraging schools and communities to be designed to foster safe, convenient and fun ways to move. "
Centered around the school day, FireUpYourFeet.org provides a full range of age-appropriate resources and educational materials to encourage physical activity to, from and at schools, with simple ways to track activity, earn awards, fundraise in a healthy way and stay motivated in a fun and friendly environment.
The National PTA believes that Fire Up Your Feet provides a great new opportunity for families to get active and spend more quality time together, all the while helping out their PTAs and schools.
"Our families care deeply about improving children's health nationwide," said National PTA President Betsy Landers. "The Fire Up Your Feet programs empower families to partner with schools, advocate for healthy changes around physical activity, and create an environment at home that supports the positive changes happening at school."
"Every day, every kid needs to get 60 minutes of physical activity. And the best way to do this is to integrate that activity into every day life," said Loel Solomon, PhD, vice president, Community Health. "Kaiser Permanente is excited to partner with Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the National PTA to change the norm in schools, and get kids moving again."
With the national spotlight on the need to reverse childhood obesity, momentum is building for school groups to find healthy fundraising alternatives that work. Fire Up Your Feet offers a healthy, easy fundraising choice centered around a goal of helping children reach the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Fire Up Your Feet inspires families, students and teachers to get moving while they raise money for their schools to invest in items like gym equipment, bike racks and many other options to boost physical activity at their own school.
In certain areas throughout the nation, the Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenge program allows schools and families to track the minutes they spend moving each day and to challenge each other – and themselves – to integrate more exercise into their daily lifestyle. This program provides ways to earn rewards and provides even more inspiration for schools and families to walk more, play more, and improve their overall health and wellness.
Fire Up Your Feet is helping schools and families make healthy, easy changes that get everyone moving. The national expansion of Fire Up Your Feet is funded by a $1.76 million grant from Kaiser Permanente to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Fire Up Your Feet is an integral part of Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools, a multi-year effort to make schools "the heart of health." Kaiser Permanente is committed to promoting the health benefits of walking as underscored by its Every Body Walk! campaign and now Fire Up Your Feet, which encourages walking to, from and during school.
About Fire Up Your Feet and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership
Fire Up Your Feet is a core program of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. It began as a pilot program in 2011 thanks in part to the leadership of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and is expanding nationally thanks to generous support from Kaiser Permanente and in partnership with the National PTA. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership's mission is to advocate for safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America's children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities. For more information visit fireupyourfeet.org or saferoutespartnership.org.
About the National PTA®
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.
SOURCE Safe Routes to School National Partnership