Pontiac, Michigan -- Students from Shrine Catholic Grade School of Royal Oak took their "victory lap" around the Detroit Zoo as the 2013 winner of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's Count Your Steps initiative. They were joined by students from second-place Franklin Road Christian School of Novi and the Detroit Zoo mascots. Third-place Angell Elementary School of Berkley was unable to attend. The top schools were announced today in a special ceremony marking the 10th anniversary Count Your Steps finale celebration.
"Programs like Count Your Steps that promote active and healthy lifestyles are impacting the quality of life for residents in positive ways," Patterson said. "I believe in a decade or two that we will have measurably improved the overall health of Oakland County residents."
Shrine Catholic Grade School students walked an average of 164,374 steps per student this year. Franklin Road Christian School students walked an average of 138,707 steps per student for second place. Angell Elementary students walked an average 136,845 per student for third place.
More than 13,000 students from over 100 schools participated in Count Your Steps from April 8 - May 5 this year. They logged a total of 873,921,850 steps or 436,961 miles - more than 17 times around the Earth. Students also ate 290,956 servings of fruits and vegetables. Since the program's inception in 2004, more than 200,000 Oakland County third- and fourth-grade students have logged more than 18 billion steps or 360 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.
"The number of obese children in the U.S. continues to rise," Patterson said. "I began Count Your Steps to address childhood obesity here in Oakland County. I am thrilled that after a decade, our numbers are strong."
Patterson, who had another engagement, recorded a message for the winners at the finale.
2013 program sponsors include Platinum Sponsor PNC Bank; Gold Sponsors DTE Energy Foundation, Oakland County Parks and Oakland County Health Division; Silver Sponsor McLaren Oakland; Bronze Sponsor HAP; and Supporting Sponsors Beaumont Health System, Detroit Zoo, HealthPlus, and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
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