ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

School Health Council Creates Friendly Competition to Promote School Staff Wellness

Post submitted by James S. Roberts, Ed.D., superintendent, Batesville (Ind.) Community School Corporation

For the past four years, the Batesville Community School Corporation (BCSC) has partnered with the American Cancer Society to conduct a 10-week Active for Life fitness challenge. Through this challenge, all staff members are encouraged to engage in some sort of physical activity for 30 minutes per day for at least five days per week.

To add motivation, a building competition is held within BCSC pitting all four school buildings and the Administration Building against one another! Records are kept detailing each employee’s activity and the building’s relationship to the goal set. The winning building is the one that has the highest ratio of participation rate to rate of goal accomplishment.

Batesville Middle School was a first-time winner during the 2009–10 school year, following back-to-back wins by Batesville Primary School in 2006–07 and 2007–08 and a win by Batesville Intermediate School in 2008–09. A traveling trophy is awarded to the winning building. Each individual meeting his or her goal, regardless of building, is presented with a commemorative T-shirt.

This year, we will expand our physical activity challenge to encompass most of the nine months of the school year and culminate with participation in the Indianapolis Mini Marathon held in May.  The Mini Marathon annually has nearly 35,000 participants and is affiliated with the world-famous Indianapolis 500.

In September, project manager Andy Allen, associate principal at Batesville High School, will start setting up training teams and registering individuals for the Mini Marathon. Staff members will have the opportunity to run or walk the full 13.1 miles OR run or walk the 5K that is also a part of the day's festivities.

We hope to involve the greater community in this effort in a variety of ways, as invitations to join us have been extended to area businesses and students and their families will be asked to participate. Additionally, we hope to get the Batesville High School band and cheerleaders engaged by stationing them along the course to cheer on our Batesville runners and walkers. As our organizational efforts hit high gear with this ambitious challenge, I will be sure to update you on our progress.

What kind of events would you like to create in your school and community that would promote school staff wellness and a positive school climate?

Comments (2)

Mike Anderson

September 2, 2010

I would love to see schools deemphasize junk food at school events and fundraisers. Let’s replace “Donuts with Dad”, candy bar selling marathons, ice cream smorgasbords, and cake walks with fun runs, vegetable gardening projects, math game nights, and read-ins!

Sharon Teske

September 2, 2010

Our superintendent, Dr. Jerry Weast, has encouraged the staff members (22,000+) of our entire school system Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland,to a similar challenge!!

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