Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, with Detroit Zoo mascots Junior Z and Zooper Hero at his side, announced today the top three schools and school districts whose students walked the most steps during the month of March at the eighth annual Count Your Steps finale.
Shrine Catholic Grade School placed first this year; Franklin Road Christian in Novi was second; and St. Fabian in Farmington Hills finished third. West Bloomfield School District took first place among participating school districts. Second place went to Avondale Schools. Clawson Public Schools finished third.
Shrine third and fourth graders joined Patterson and his furry friends to take a nearly two mile "victory walk" around the Detroit Zoo.
"I may be walking with the first place students today, but all the kids who got out and got active this year are winners," said Patterson. "The number of obese children in the U.S. has doubled in the past decade. My Count Your Steps initiative is designed to do something about it here in Oakland County."
Shrine's students earned the first place prize for the fourth year in a row by walking an average of 201,910 steps per student, a total of 55,323,390 steps. Franklin Road Christian’s students walked an average of 195,108 steps per student, a total of 19,901,059 steps. St. Fabian's students walked an average 179,115 per student, or 18,269,778 total steps.
The West Bloomfield School District averaged 1,656,758 steps per week; Avondale Schools walked an average of 1,517,396 steps per week; and Clawson Public Schools reported in with an average of 1,093,156 steps per week.
The Count Your Steps program ran the entire month of March this year with more than 17,000 students at 142 schools participating, logging 1,081,120,626 steps or 511,894 miles - nearly 20 times around the Earth. Students also ate 261,980 servings of fruits and vegetables. Since the program's inception, more than 156,000 Oakland County third and fourth grade students have logged more than 16 billion steps or 288 times around the Earth.
Alarmed by the growing national epidemic of childhood obesity, Patterson launched Count Your Steps in 2004 to encourage Oakland County kids to become active and make proper nutrition choices. For more information about Count Your Steps go to www.countyoursteps.org.
2011 program sponsors are: Platinum: PNC Bank. Gold: AT & T, Brooksie Way, HealthPlus of Michigan, The Palace of Auburn Hills, The Detroit Zoo, Oakland County Parks, POH Medical Center, and Oakland County Health Division. Silver: Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and St. Joseph Mercy-Oakland. Supporting: Medical Network One.
For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at (248) 858-1048.