Walk with Walgreens School Challenge stepped up exercise curriculum with nearly 1,800 hours of walking

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Students participating in a school challenge developed by the Walk with Walgreens program and Alliance for a Healthier Generation helped add nearly 1,800 hours of walking to schools' daily routine over the course of the six-week program. Each school that exceeded the minimum walking goal will receive a $1,000 grant from Walgreens to implement or enhance the school’s physical activity curriculum, Walgreens announced Tuesday.

“Whether it’s walking more, or simply exploring the school grounds and being more active, this program is an easy way to encourage physical activity, which is a great benefit to children during the school day,” stated Bonnie Gordon, Walgreens director of cause marketing. “It demonstrates the value of healthy habits and the simple steps we’re helping people take to get, stay and live well.”

"We know that children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day," stated Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. "We're proud to team up with Walgreens to offer more opportunities throughout the school day for kids to have fun while moving more. It's important these programs inspire lifelong healthy habits."

“In just six weeks, this challenge has changed the atmosphere and attitude toward health at our school," commented Jennifer Velez, John. M. Sexton Elementary physical education teacher. “The Walk with Walgreens School Challenge has been a welcomed addition to our work with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.”

Ten elementary schools and more than 6,000 students in Charlotte, N.C., and Tampa, Fla., participated in the initiative to help incorporate and encourage healthier habits.

The Walk with Walgreens School Challenge was designed to help encourage students and faculty to increase their physical activity and learn healthy habits. As part of the challenge, each school classroom was challenged with adding a minimum of 10 extra minutes of walking per day to the school day, outside of recess and physical education. Some examples of ways educators increased physical activity included walking school grounds for seed identification during science class and reciting multiplication facts while walking the gymnasium.

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