Fifth District Elementary School rocked their red for good health


The challenge was simple; its impact profound.

On February 19, BCPS employees were asked to wear red to symbolize their support and participation in the first ever “Rock Your Red” campaign to promote healthy living. In conjunction, employees were to engage in one of a menu of healthy activities or create their own way of showing their commitment to good health. At stake from the activity’s sponsor, the BCPS Employee Wellness Program – prizes ranging from a $5,000 makeover of a school lounge to gift certificates or a catered wellness celebration breakfast or lunch.

The challenge must have struck a chord. By its completion, at least 78 entries were received from 73 schools and five offices. Awards were provided based on the percentage of employee participation, the duration of the activities, and the level of effort. Some schools even had students join in the healthy fun.

“Our sites truly ‘Rocked Their Red’ and the entries were amazing,” said Fran Allen, business manager in the BCPS Office of Human Resources. “The activities were creative and inspiring and focused on both healthy minds and healthy bodies consistent with the wellness program logo and theme.”

When the judging was complete, Fifth District Elementary School in northern Baltimore County captured the first-place prize – a $5,000 teacher’s lounge makeover sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. Their teamwork and entry, which involved tweeting daily and posting challenges and activities on the lounge wall, impressed judges most of all.

This week, Dr. Allen and representatives from Kaiser Permanente and the BCPS wellness committee presented a trophy and congratulations to the entire Fifth District faculty, all of whom squeezed into the lounge. Principal Robert Findley commended his staff and said the improvements would mean a lot to his faculty.

Allen said the challenge would improve for its second year in 2015-16 “with criteria that will promote strategies related to culture change.” She noted how the activities in schools across the county also had the added benefit of involving students in a school-wide focus on fitness and good health.

“We’ll look forward,” she said, “to seeing everyone’s entries next year.”

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