Feelin’ Good® Mileage Program Kicks Off in Selected Schools

February 18, 2013

When students feel good, they do better in school. To promote healthier lifestyles for children, Bronson Battle Creek piloted a partnership last year with Valley View Elementary School for the Feelin’ Good® Mileage program with great success.  

This year, in addition to working with Valley View again, BBC has expanded this grant-funded program into six additional schools in Calhoun County.  They include: Ann J. Kellogg, Beadle Lake, Coburn, Dudley STEM, Prairieview, and Urbandale.

Bronson Battle Creek Community Partners board is providing grant dollars to expand this program.  The Calhoun County Health Department will partner with BBC by providing school nurses and an epidemiologist.

The 12-week Feelin’ Good® program will run from February 25 through May 24.
   
The Feelin’ Good® Mileage Club is North America’s premier school walking/running program. In 2012, more than 2.5 million children in nearly 15,000 schools logged almost 30 million miles. This amount of activity helped reduce playground hassles, increase kids’ learning readiness, and fought obesity.

Last year, BBC worked with three third-grade classes at Valley View to assess body mass indexes (BMI), involving students in activities that promoted exercise, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles that were fun.  The results saw not only lower BMI numbers from all groups, but also pounds lost ranging from 21 to 51 per class. 

The Mileage Club lunch-hour program is simple to run—here is how it works.  Students walk on the school playground several times a week. Mileage markers (yellow cards) are checked every time a child completes a lap. For each five miles walked, the child is awarded a Toe Token (brightly colored plastic foot) to put on a shoelace or chain.

Bronson Battle Creek provides:
  • Mileage Club Super Kit (teacher packets and mileage markers), chains, and toe tokens. 
  • Incentives:  t-shirts for accomplishing 25 miles; water bottles at 50 miles; a bike for the TOP male and female runner/walker (per school), and Full Blast Water Park tickets for the class with the most miles traveled (per school).
  • Two cooking classes are held to educate parents and students on how to cook more healthful meals.  Dieticians will also be in attendance to discuss healthy choices and portion control.  

Sponsors include:
  • Kalamazoo Chapter of The Links, Inc., a professional women’s service group supporting the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo areas with youth leadership development and health initiatives.
  • Sodexo, Inc., the leading provider of integrated food and facilities management services in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, serves 10 million consumers in 6,000 locations everyday.
  • Full Blast Water Park in Battle Creek, MI, a family entertainment center that features two 100-foot waterslides, a zero-depth entry pool, water play features, a lazy river, and a jet hot tub.

“The key to the success of this partnership is the commitment and dedication from the school principal, along with partnerships with teacher leaders and parent organizations,” said LaTonya Baidy, RN, BSN, MBA, Bronson Battle Creek manager of community engagement.  “The schools involved identify a ⅛- or ¼-mile walking track on school grounds.  Some of them even offer additional incentives weekly, by the mile, or as necessary to keep students motivated.”  

For more information, please contact LaTonya Baidy at (269) 245-8023.

Bronson Battle Creek is a 218-bed hospital that provides full outpatient and inpatient acute care including robotic surgery, diagnostics, and rehabilitation services; 100% all private rooms.  It also offers world-class diagnostic capabilities including PET/CT imaging, freestanding ‘open’ and traditional MRI, CT (16- and 64-slice), and 3.0 Tesla MRI.  Bronson Battle Creek has been recognized nationally as one of the safest hospitals, and has been a leader in the development of electronic health records as evidenced by multiple honors as one of America’s ‘most wired’ and ‘most wireless’ hospitals. The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recognizes the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Program, and the only hospital in Michigan to receive the CoC’s Outstanding Achievement Award three times in a row. Specialty services include inpatient behavioral health, the county’s largest accredited sleep center, and a wound-healing center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  For nine years, Bronson Healthcare has been included on Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies list as a leading family friendly employer.