PHOENIX, Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Registration is now open for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona's 2016 Walk On! Challenge. The children's health program takes place every February and is available to all Arizona fourth- and fifth-grade teachers at no cost. Registration closes on Nov. 20.
Teachers who register receive a tool kit from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona with in-class materials, including curriculum developed by Mollen Foundation experts. The program is all-inclusive, making it seamless for teachers to incorporate into their regular school schedule.
Additionally teachers who complete the Challenge in February can apply to win one of five $5,000 grants. The application process is simple and grant monies can help teachers continue the Walk On! objectives all year long.
"I would like to praise the Walk On! program for the organization that goes into it and the motivation and encouragement," said Gregg Veitel, physical education teacher at Whittier Elementary School in Mesa. "We are a Title 1 school at Whittier and a lot of our kids come from low socioeconomic living conditions. Something as simple as a backpack and a calendar go a long way in sparking the interest of our students."
The Walk On! Challenge is based on the 5-2-1-0 principles:
- 5 – fruits and veggies a day
- 2 – hours a day or less of screen time
- 1 – hour of physical activity every day
- 0 – sugary drinks
For 11 years Walk On! has been incorporated into hundreds of classrooms across the state, making a difference in how students and their families view their choices about healthy food, physical activity and their use of screen time.
"Early intervention is key to long term success when it comes to healthy eating habits and positive lifestyle choices," said Dr. Vishu Jhaveri, chief medical officer BCBSAZ. "Capturing the attention of children when they are in school, and faced with opportunities to make healthy choices, is imperative. Research shows that many chronic health-related issues – like diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure – can be prevented or minimized with personal choices. We want to instill that knowledge in students from an early age to increase their chances of a healthy future."
Registration is required to ensure students who reach the 5-2-1-0 goal at least 15 days in the month will receive their reward and be entered into a drawing for prizes. This year's prizes include iPod® Nanos and gift certificates for sports equipment.
Teachers and school administrators in Arizona who are interested in registering for the Walk On! Challenge or who want to know more about the grant criteria can visit www.walkonaz.com for additional details.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ), an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest Arizona-based health insurance company. The not-for-profit company was founded in 1939 and provides health insurance products, services or networks to 1.3 million individuals. With offices in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson and the East Valley, the company employs more than 1,300 Arizonans. Follow BCBSAZ at www.facebook.com/bcbsaz or on Twitter at @bcbsaz to get information on health and wellness, a knowledgeable perspective on health insurance reform, and become a part of what we're doing in your community.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona