Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and Kaiser Permanente have teamed up to promote healthy living for employees through a 12-week-long fitness competition that starts next week. A pep rally on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at Richard Montgomery High School will kick off the fitness challenge.
Called MCPS ON THE MOVE, the health and fitness challenge will feature teams of elementary school staff members who will compete to win more than $100,000 in prizes for themselves, their teams, and their schools.
The main goal of the fitness challenge is to encourage lifelong exercise and healthy eating habits among MCPS employees. The contest emphasizes consistency over athleticism and encourages participants to incorporate simple, physical activities into their daily routines. The competition officially starts Oct. 4 and runs through Dec. 22.
“Fit and healthy employees are important to the long-term success of MCPS, and our partnership with Kaiser Permanente in this fitness challenge underscores that,” said Superintendent of Schools Jerry D. Weast. “Not only are healthy employees better equipped to serve our students, but they serve as important role models for our young people when it comes to making choices for a healthy lifestyle.”
Regular exercise and healthy eating are central to a person’s well-being, but hectic schedules and busy lifestyles often put those important activities behind other, more pressing ones like taking care of families and job responsibilities. MCPS ON THE MOVE is designed to motivate employees to make their health a priority while they have fun competing against their colleagues for prizes.
“Kaiser Permanente is a visible leader in forging partnerships with our communities to focus on health and wellness – specifically, obesity and chronic disease,” said Carrie Harris-Muller, Chief Administrative Officer of Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States. “Through our partnership with the Montgomery County Public School System, we hope to set a positive example and establish the MCPS ON THE MOVE Fitness Challenge as a model for the Mid-Atlantic States region, and for the nation.”
The rules of the contest are simple.
· MCPS ON THE MOVE is open to all elementary school staff members—teachers, administrators, paraeducators, secretaries, building services workers, health technicians, cafeteria staff and bus drivers.
· Every school will designate one employee to be their coach.
· Staff members will form teams that range from four to nine members and will identify a captain of each team.
· Schools can have multiple teams.
· Every participant will use a password-protected account on Fitness Journal, a Web-based program, to log their daily, physical activity and track their health and fitness goals.
Every participating school will receive two in-school visits from a Kaiser Permanente physician who will provide healthy tips about fitness and nutrition. These in-school visits will provide participants with a forum in which they can ask questions and receive helpful information about healthy living from a Kaiser Permanente physician.
Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic community website