PrintAs part of Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Boston Moves for Health program, twelve Boston Public Schools have now won a total of $6,750 for new physical education equipment after boosting their daily physical activity. The awards were made possible with support from Partners HealthCare.

From January 22 to February 15, thirty-seven schools participated in a physical education challenge that created opportunities for students to add extra movement and activity to their school day. To sample the success of this effort, five students at each participating school wore pedometers for the four weeks. That group moved 12,377,754,000 steps, or about 6,700 miles.

Boston Moves for Health partner Playworks Metro Boston also helped to get kids moving during this challenge. The 14,000 Playworks students from thirty-one Boston schools moved a total of 236,136 miles at recess between January 22 and February 15.

“Finding ways to work more physical activity into your daily routine is important for all age groups, so I’m proud of these students for how much they moved – even when there was snow on the ground outside!” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director, Boston Public Health Commission. “This partnership between Boston Moves for Health, Partners HealthCare, and Boston Public Schools is helping students to learn how to fit healthy habits into their day early in life.”

One school in each age category that moved the most during the challenge received $750 for new fitness equipment. The winners were:

Manning Elementary School

Manning Elementary School, Jamaica Plain

Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot

Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot, Mattapan

Charlestown High School

Charlestown High School, Charlestown

“Congratulations to all the students and teachers who participated in this healthy competition,” said Matt Fishman, vice president, Partners Community Health. “Finding ways to increase your physical activity can help lead to academic success, and we hope that our participation in Boston Moves for Health and support of the Wellness Champions will help you to be healthy in your schools and in your neighborhoods.”

Last October, the Boston Public Health Commission joined Partners HealthCare and Shaw’s and Star Market to announce three new and innovative ways that city schools would incorporate more physical activity into their students’ daily routines. Read news release of original announcement.

As a part of this initiative, schools first competed for the most steps taken by students during physical education class from October 15 to November 9. Forty-six schools participated in this Physical Education Challenge, which six schools winning $4,500 for fitness equipment. They were broken into three categories based on age, and moved a total of 9,628 miles. See the first round of winners here.