Novi, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's Count Your Steps initiative to fight child obesity kicked off its 10th year today with students from Franklin Road Christian School in Novi. More than 13,000 students from 105 schools are participating in the 2013 Count Your Steps program from April 8 through May 5.
"Count Your Steps encourages kids, families and their communities to adopt a more active and healthier lifestyle," Patterson said. "After 10 years, we are seeing measureable results like ranking third in Michigan for health behaviors in the annual County Health Rankings Report."
Oakland County third- and fourth-graders 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 May. Students from Franklin Road Christian School, the 2012 Count Your Steps winner, began counting their steps today at the kick-off event with songs, dances and games by StarTrax and other fun activities provided by Oakland County Parks. In addition, they watched a video message from Patterson.
Last year, Franklin Road Christian students walked an average of 184,227 steps per student to win first place. In total, all students participating in last year's Count Your Steps walked more than 1 billion steps, or over 540,000 miles. Since Count Your Steps inception in 2004, more than 188,000 third- and fourth-graders have walked 17 billion steps, or 341 times around the earth.
Program supporters include Platinum, PNC Bank; Gold, DTE Energy Foundation, Oakland County Parks and Oakland County Health Division; Silver, McLaren Oakland; Bronze, HAP; and Supporting, Beaumont Health Systems, Detroit Zoo, HealthPlus, and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, media and communications officer, at 248-858-1048.