Shannon Johnson Elementary was recently named a “Praiseworthy Pioneer” by ChildObesity180 as part of the organization’s nationwide innovation contest and will receive $2,500 to further advance health and wellness programming in their school or district. The competition was designed to identify and reward the most creative, impactful, and scalable school-based programs and technologies to promote children’s physical activity.
The Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP), a ChildObesity180 initiative, launched the competition in February 2012 in a commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America. First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged participation in the competition with a call for applications via a video message.
Teachers, schools, and school districts submitted their school-based physical activity programs to the “School Programs
” category, while the “Technology Innovation
” category invited developers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to demonstrate how existing or emerging technologies could be used to inspire kids to be physically active. A panel of experts representing various fields judged the entries. A complete list of judges is available at www.ActiveSchoolsASAP.org
Shannon Johnson Elementary is planning to improve outside activities for students to use during recess to provide more structured activities. The school also hopes to provide access and activities that families can utilize after school hours.
“We are very grateful for the Praiseworthy Pioneer Award,” said Physical Education Teacher Kathy Todd. “With this money, we are adding some activity zones to our outside play area and we are excited about how they will be utilized during and after school.”
Shannon Johnson Elementary will use the prize money for the following:
- Construction of a Gaga Pit (Hawks Nest). This is a game for all ages! It will increase heart rate, reflexes and improve agility.
- Purchase a game called Nine-Square-In-The-Air.
- Start a USTA Tennis program. Tennis will be added to the school’s curriculum and the school hopes to start an after school tennis team. Funds will be used to purchase racquets, balls and ball machine.
“These innovators show how teachers and parents are creatively increasing physical activity in schools,” said Christina Economos, PhD, Vice-Chair and Director of ChildObesity180, Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and a leading researcher in childhood obesity prevention. “They are leading the way toward a real shift in the nation’s approach to physical activity.”
Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP) is an initiative of ChildObesity180, an organization committed to fostering cross-sector collaboration to reverse the trend of childhood obesity within one generation’s time. The ChildObesity180 membership is comprised of national leaders from the public, nonprofit, academic, and private sectors who are using their reach and expertise to drive an integrated national strategy to prevent childhood obesity. The organization is chaired by Peter Dolan, former CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Leading Tufts University obesity researcher Dr. Christina Economos serves as vice-chair and director and Dr. Miriam Nelson, a Professor at the Friedman School, is the co-director. Founded in 2009, ChildObesity180 is conducted in collaboration with Tufts University. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the JPB Foundation are strategic funders. The Innovation Competition is funded by a consortium of the nation’s leading health plans.