Absolutely. Start with the schools where you think students will be highly motivated to participate and compete well. The more success you have with the first schools, the better and faster World Fit will grow. If you are not sure, rely on the recommendation of the director for health and physical education at the school district office. That person will know all of the school’s athletic directors.
You can, but we do not recommend it. There is a learning curve for each school in the first year, but after that I believe the school will need very little assistance. Start slow and do it right….then build from there.
There are many more schools in America than we have Olympians and Paralympians. We believe that the elementary and middle school age is the right age to impress upon the students the importance of lifelong fitness and good health. We feel it is best to focus on grades 3 through 8 in order to have the greatest impact of the World Fit program.
It is very hard to find six weeks in any school curriculum where a new program will fit in. The six weeks following Spring break seems to work well in Florida, as it does not interfere with academic testing. Spring is warm enough all over the country for students to walk outdoors. World Fit is completed a few weeks in advance of final exams and summer vacation, allowing time for that preparation. Olympic Week in America will coincide with the World Fit program, complementing this great program. Ideally, we would like to see students participating in the World Fit Walk all over the country at the same time….in Spring.
For safety reasons, we believe it is important to keep the students walking on campus during the school week, supervised by participating teachers. On the weekends, as during the school week, we credit the students for participating in other sports programs. The number of miles credited for each sport is listed on the website, beginning with the most rigorous sports (five miles per hour of participation) to the least rigorous (1 mile per hour of participation).
The Athletic Director will carefully measure a familiar course around the school grounds prior to the start of the World Fit Walk. All students and teachers will walk the same course together, before, during and after school. If the course is ½ mile, for example, then the students divide the number of laps walked by two to determine the number of miles walked that day.
Yes, they do. They will get credit according to the sport as listed on the conversion table and for the time they are active in the sport during the PE class.
Yes. Any ‘buddy’, someone who is not a student in the school, can donate their miles (1/2 of the total miles they walk) to any student in the World Fit Walk they choose. They can choose a different student each time they walk. A buddy can be a teacher, a parent, a sibling or a human friend (dogs don’t count). We found lots of teachers willfully and joyfully participated in the World Fit Walk. Not only did they get fitter, they could use their ‘buddy’ miles to create some real leverage to motivate their students.
By creating teams of students supervised by teachers, we found that the honor system works. Pedometers aren’t necessary and likely will get lost. The hours of student participation in sports programs is also governed by the honor system. There is no shortcut to getting fit.
Absolutely. During school that just means they will do more laps for more miles. In sports, we credit more miles for running than for jogging and for walking, but all get credit.
Each school will determine this, but our rule is that teachers, who will hopefully be walking along with the students, will supervise them during the walk. Walking can occur before, during or after school under this condition.
The keys are the Principal, Athletic Director and the teachers. The AD is the prime motivator for the teachers to participate and the teachers, in turn, will motivate the students. The teachers become team leaders for their students, so that within each school team competition occurs, as well as with other schools. Awards for milestones of walking, such as certificates, ribbons or medals, also help encourage participation. Hopefully, the Olympian or Paralympian will also inspire many with his or her message.
In its pilot program, World Fit was introduced into eight new communities in six states across America. Some were urban communities. Others were very rural. Some schools selected had higher income families. Others had middle to low income families. Some were large schools with over 1,000 students. Others were small with 200 or less. It didn’t seem to matter. World Fit succeeded in all schools, except two. In both of those, the Principals never got behind the program. Whenever he or she did, World Fit succeeded. Across America students averaged nearly 3 miles per day for the entire 6 weeks of the Walk.