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French Camp, Lathrop schools taking part in statewide fitness challenge for students

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POSTED February 4, 2010 1:40 a.m.
French Camp and Lathrop schools are among Manteca Unified sites scheduled to take part in the Exercise Across California, according to the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

This is a program that promotes fitness and healthy lifestyles among fourth-grade students – in particular, overcoming childhood obesity – and is made possible by the SJCOE, in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Cooperative Extension, and the SJC school districts.

A kickoff event was held Wednesday at Nightingale Elementary School in Stockton.

It’s there that these fourth-graders and others will officially start their pedometers, with the goal to stride 2,126 miles collectively equivalent to that of across the state. Included will be “stops” at 13 of the state’s historical landmarks, in turn, tying this event in with the California State Social Science Standards.
The participating schools also received money to purchase physical education equipment and pedometers to track the distance gained through exercise. Plans call for integrating the nutritional curriculum, Power Play, into daily classroom activities.
Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre program will visit some of the participating schools in an effort to help encourage youngsters to meet various milestones.

According to SJCOE, the Exercise Across California goal is to get students to increase their levels of physical fitness by putting in additional exercise beyond the time required at school.

The top four students from each school that collect the most miles win a trip to San Francisco. Not only will they have a chance to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge but can catch a Giants game at AT&T Park.

Those at SJCOE are also promoting that healthy lifestyle option with the fourth annual Fitness Challenge currently underway.

They assembled several teams, with each member tallying points by keeping track of his or her nutritional intake, exercise routine and daily educational wellness on a daily and weekly basis.
At the end of the month, SJCOE students and staff will gather on March 9 to see which top three teams and individual have won the SJCOE Fitness Challenge, as well as the county vs. county office of education challenge.

The Fitness Challenge also includes various activities, including the Give Every Child A Chance Antone E. Raymus 11th annual Bowl-A-Thon on Feb. 27 at the Manteca Bowl and Family Fun Center.
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