Sanford Health, WebMD and Discovery Education Healthy Living Initiative kicks off with new lesson plans and returning sweepstakes

Lauren Williams's picture
Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sanford Health, WebMD and Discovery Education announced today the fall re-launch of fit 4 the classroom, a unique program for elementary educators, students and their families to promote students ‘whole-body’ health and wellness. Now in its second year, fit 4 the classroom announces the expansion of its resources to include new interactive lessons as well as the return of a national sweepstakes offering educators nationwide the opportunity to win funds for health and wellness initiatives at their schools.

Rooted in the four pillars of fit – mood, move, food and recharge – fit 4 the classroom helps to promote healthy habits among students with dynamic, cross-curricular lesson plans and videos that span across science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects aligned to national education standards. The program recognizes, as young children begin their educational journey, that elementary educators not only have the opportunity to build the foundation for a child’s academic success, but also provide an environment where children can develop good habits for a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s important that we show our students that being on the move is just as important to their learning as studying in the classroom,” said Courtney Bake, Principal of Fairfield Elementary School in Fairfield, MT. “Our school was fortunate enough to win the grand prize in last year's fit 4 the classroom sweepstakes and as a result we’ve been able to use the grant to start a running recess club at our school."

Each lesson plan available on the site reinforces the interconnectivity of the 4 fit pillars – bringing mood, move, food and recharge together as a holistic approach to healthy living. Lessons are intended to encourage insightful conversations between educators, students and their families, covering topics such as the effect of music on mood, and how sleep affects the body and brain. Techniques include using analytical and graphing skills to explore the concepts of potential and kinetic energy connecting those ideas to athletic performance and living a healthy lifestyle.

The program also includes the return of a national sweepstakes for elementary school teachers, awarding one grand prize winner a $5,000 prize as well as an additional $5,000 in funding for the school to extend programs that benefit student health and wellness education. Second and third place winners will each be awarded a $1,000 prize and an additional $1,000 in funding for their school. Homeschool teachers can use the school funding toward a local non-profit. The deadline for entries is March 11, 2014.

‘With a captive audience of 55 million children in schools every day, it is vital to use this opportunity to teach them about the importance of healthy habits,” said Dr. Hansa Bhargava, WebMD Pediatrician. “The fit 4 the classroom sweepstakes helps teachers and schools give children the tools they need to have a healthy lifestyle and ultimately lead better lives.” “Sanford Health is happy to partner with Discovery Education and WebMD for the second year of fit 4 the classroom. We are pleased with the positive response that the program received in the first year from schools and teachers across the country. As we expand fit 4 the classroom, we look forward to continuing to help teachers integrate the fit principles without taking valuable time away from critical STEM subjects,” said Neal Nachtigall, Director of Children's Health and Fitness Initiatives, at Sanford Health.

“Educators and schools play a key role in promoting children’s health and wellness by providing an environment where children can develop good habits of a healthy and active lifestyle,” said Mary Rollins, Vice President, Discovery Education. “fit 4 the classroom allows students to make connections between those habits they learn in the classroom and their everyday lives effectively incorporating those lessons into real-world scenarios.”

For more information on the fit 4 the classroom program, visit: fit4theclassroom.com.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas and is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in nine states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Israel and Mexico.

Sanford Health includes 39 hospitals, 140 clinic locations and 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with Denny Sanford's nearly $700 million in gifts, the largest ever to a health care organization in America. These gifts are making possible the implementation of several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding cures for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer. For more information, please visit sanfordhealth.org.

About WebMD

WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) is the leading provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, health care professionals, employers, and health plans through our public and private online portals, mobile platforms, and health-focused publications.

The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD Health, Medscape, MedicineNet, eMedicineHealth, RxList, theheart.org, Medscape Education, and other owned WebMD sites.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Available in over half of all U.S. schools, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.