Waterford, Michigan -- Nearly 150 third- and fourth-graders from Shrine Catholic Grade School joined Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson as he kicked off his ninth annual Count Your Steps program today at Waterford Oaks County Park. They were joined by the Oakland County Parks mascot, Oakie the Squirrel, in a walk around the park. The students also encountered various activity stations such as bouncers, field games, and fitness exercises.
"Count Your Steps encourages kids, families and the whole community to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle," Patterson said. "The number of obese children in the U.S. continues to rise. That's why I started Count Your Steps - to fight childhood obesity right here in Oakland County."
Nearly 15,000 students from about 120 schools are participating in the 2012 Count Your Steps program from April 16 through May 13. They will use pedometers to log the number of steps they take every day for one month. The students will also keep track of the fruits and vegetables they eat. The top three schools and their students will be recognized in a special ceremony in June.
Last year, 137 students at Shrine walked more than 55 million steps - an average of 401,000 steps - to win first place for the fourth year in a row. In total, all students participating in last year's Count Your Steps walked more than 1 billion steps, or more than 540,000 miles. Since Count Your Steps inception in 2004, more than 173,000 third- and fourth-graders have walked 16 billion steps, or 321 times around the earth.
Program sponsors include Gold Sponsors McLaran Oakland, HealthPlus, PNC Bank, Oakland County Parks, and Detroit Zoological Society; Silver Sponsor HAP; and Supporting Sponsor TheraMatrix Physical Therapy.
For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer,