Students participate in walking challenge

Elementary kids, teachers, principals and mayors from across Idaho participated in the second annual Mayor’s School Walking Challenge. From Oct. 1-30, the High Five Children’s Health Collaborative, Idaho Dairy Council and St. Luke’s are challenging more than 20 city mayors in Idaho to walk and become health ambassadors.

“The city of Boise likes to partner with K-12 education initiatives,” said Boise Councilman T.J. Thomson.”Through policy action at the city level we can play a role to reduce childhood obesity, get kids more active and eating more nutrition.”

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Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong gives kids at Pierce Park Elementary high fives as they run by.

The Mayor’s School Walking Challenge is designed to improve children’s health by inspiring them to walk or run at school. Mayors act as role models for students and encourage participation throughout the city. Nearly 50 schools are registered to compete. Schools with the highest average number of miles per student will win $2,000 for physical activity or food service equipment. Mayors will track their miles and compete for $5,000 to donate to a park or school of their choice.

“The kids have a ton of energy and it’s fun to see the kids challenge each other to run more miles,” said Chris Ryan, the principal at Pierce Park Elementary School.

Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong joined Pierce Park Elementary School students on Wednesday and challenged the kids to live a healthy lifestyle.

“You have to believe in yourself and believe in others,” Armstrong said. “It is about getting up every morning – have breakfast and move your body throughout the day.”

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Twin Falls Mayor Don Hall walks with students at Sawtooth Elementary School. Photo by Michelle Bartlome / St. Luke’s Magic Valley.

Twin Falls Mayor Don Hall joined students at Sawtooth Elementary and spoke to students about the importance of exercise and good nutrition.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter plans to walk with students later this month.

The challenge is taking place in the Treasure Valley, Canyon, Magic Valley, Elmore, Payette, Blaine, Adams and Valley counties.

Participating schools

Acequia Elementary

Amity Elementary

Bickel Elementary

Carey Elementary

Central Elementary

Chief Joseph School of Arts

Crimson Point Elementary

Dietrich Elementary

Discovery Elementary

Eagle Hills Elementary

East Canyon Elementary

East Elementary

Endeavor Elementary

Ernest Hemingway Elementary

Fruitland Elementary

Gateway School of Language & Culture

Grace Jordan Elementary

Green Hurst Elementary

Green Leaf Academy

Hagerman Elementary

Harrison Elementary

Heritage Community Charter

Homedale Elementary

Horizon Elementary

Hunter Elementary

I. B. Perrine Elementary

Immanuel Lutheran

Iowa Elementary

Jefferson Elementary

Lake Hazel Elementary

Lewis & Clark Elementary

Liberty Elementary

Lincoln Elementary

Mary McPherson Elementary

Middleton Heights Elementary

Monroe Elementary

Nampa Christian Elementary

New Horizons Dual Language Elementary

New Plymouth Elementary

Oregon Trail Elementary

Pepper Ridge Elementary

Peregrine Elementary

Pierce Park Elementary

Ponderosa Elementary

Reed Elementary

Richfield Elementary

River Valley Elementary

Roosevelt Elementary

Sacajawea Elementary

Sawtooth Elementary

Siena Elementary

Silver Sage Elementary

Snake River Elementary

Star Elementary

St. Mary’s Catholic School

Summit Elementary

Valley View Elementary

West Elementary

Whitney Elementary

Whittier Elementary

Willow Creek Elementary