MASON COUNTY — For the last few months, all third through sixth grade students in Mason County were challenged to “Get Up and Go.” They rose to that challenge.
Pleasant Valley Hospital (PVH), with sponsorship from the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation, started the 12-week challenge earlier this school year to better the heath of the children.
“We got a grant through the Claflin Foundation and (Get Up and Go) was primarily started to get kids up and going to try to decrease childhood obesity,” said Amy Mullins, MBA, MORT/L, director of rehabilitation at PVH.
The objective was achieved by students logging the miles they walked. Each student was given a QR code that was scanned by a tablet to record their mileage. Collectively, the students in those four grade levels traveled 31,278 miles in the 12 weeks.
Mullins and Gabe Roush, LAT, ATC, sports medicine manager at PVH, said the students embraced the competition and the physical education teachers got into the competitive spirit.
On Wednesday, Mullins and Roush presented the top student, top class and top school with prizes.
The top student was Berklee Bonecutter, a fourth grader from Leon Elementary. Bonecutter logged 189 miles over the 12 weeks. That’s an average of 2.25 miles per day. Bonecutter’s prize is a trip to Sky Zone with six friends.
The top scoring class is Ms. Grady’s fourth grade class at Leon Elementary. The class received a trip to Southern Ohio Gymnastics Academy in Gallipolis, Ohio.
The champion school was New Haven Elementary. The elementary will display a trophy until the champion school is crowned next year. New Haven students completed 11,209 miles.
Mullins and Roush said they heard many success stories about how the competition bettered the lives of the students.
“I think it was week six of the 12-week program, a parent talked to the P.E. teacher and said that (the student) hadn’t used the inhaler for several weeks,” Roush said. “We’ve seen a lot of positive heath benefits to it, that’s for sure.”
Roush said some of the teachers told him that children who were more sedentary were some of the top performers at their schools.
The finale of the program was on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving when 135 people went to Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School for the Turkey Trot. Families could come walk with their children and their miles would go toward whatever school they selected. The walk lasted two hours.
Mullins and Roush said they are planning to continue the event next year and hope to make it more competitive within each school with additional prizes. They will also be setting different rules to clarify if students can walk and run, instead of just walking the miles.
Kayla Hawthorne is staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.