Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi is committed to building a healthy and bright future for the state. Through targeted community and health and wellness initiatives, the Company is working to ensure Mississippians are integrating wellness into all aspects of life. This includes teaching local kids to be healthy, have fun and Get Ready to Run!
The Get Ready to Run school program was developed by health and wellness professionals at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, and the curriculum is supported by the Mississippi Department of Education. Lessons and activities use innovative and fun ways to encourage kids to be active during physical education classes, and kids earn incentives throughout their participation.
"It is an incredible experience to work with our Mississippi schools to get kids excited about running and to encourage and teach the importance of healthy lifestyle choices," said Eugenia King, Health & Fitness Coordinator with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi. "The Get Ready to Run program builds a sense of school spirit, self-confidence among students and, most importantly, allows students to have fun while being physically active."
The program culminates with a Kids' One-Mile Fun Run, and the school with the highest percentage of participating students receives $2,000 to enhance its school P.E. program. The second and third place schools receive $1,500 and $1,000 respectively. To engage students even more, schools also submit storyboards that visually demonstrate their participation in the program. Storyboards are judged based on content, representation of the program, health message, creativity and originality with the winning school receiving $500.
Since 2013, more than 27,000 students in grades K-5 in central Mississippi have taken part in the Get Ready to Run school program, learning about physical activity through fun and engaging activities. In 2015, the program extended to counties along the Mississippi Gulf Coast for the first time, and organizers plan to expand the program to even more areas of the state in 2016.
"Students experience such an incredible feeling of accomplishment just by getting involved in the Get Ready to Run program," said Jeff Cole, P.E. teacher at Highland Elementary in Ridgeland, winner of the Storyboard contest. "Completing the run helps reinforce the concept that exercise can actually be fun!"
Parents, encourage your child's school to be part of this fun and exciting program! Registration for Central Mississippi schools will open online at www.getreadytorunms.com on August 12, and later in the fall parents of participating students can register children to take part in the culminating event at the Mississippi Blues Marathon, scheduled for January 9, 2016. Student registration will be free to students in participating schools. You can also visit www.getreadytorunms.com to stay up-to-date on the latest news and information. Don't miss out on one of the fastest growing events just for kids! Get healthy! Have fun! And Get Ready to Run!