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Raymer Elementary Students “Walk and Roll” to School

Raymer Elementary School
Toledo, OH

Hoping to increase the physical activity opportunities for students and families, Raymer Elementary honed in on their local Safe Routes to School initiative and implemented an active transportation program to get students and families to not only move more, but move more together.

Safe Routes to School programs that encourage active transportation have many benefits to the school community and can assist in fighting childhood obesity. “Let’s Walk and Roll” encourages students and families to walk or bike to and from school on Wednesdays and to participate in Mileage Club by doing laps in a gym or on school property in the morning before school.

To help track and manage student participation and empower students and families to challenge themselves to reach new goals, the school utilizes a web-based barcode technology service called Active4.Me. This service uses barcode tags that are looped onto students’ backpacks and, when scanned, share real-time program data such as distance walked, calories burned, gallons of gas saved, and CO2 removed from the environment. It also enables students who participate in the school mileage club to track their mileage, and parents can opt in to receive a text alert or email indicating their student has safely arrived to school.

Thanks to a $1,000 grant from Action for Healthy Kids sponsored by the Trustmark Foundation, Raymer has implemented Walking Wednesdays and Mileage Club three days per week, and 10 additional minutes have been added to recess with administration’s support. Denise Smotherman, a Raymer Elementary parent, shared, “I love that you guys do Mileage Club in the morning! Ashley can’t wait to get to school on those days.”

That’s not all! Lucas County is known as a food desert, which means that it is difficult for people to purchase affordable and quality healthy food. To combat this challenge, Raymer has also strengthened their nutrition program to align with their new physical activity initiatives. With more than a quarter of calories coming from snacks, Raymer sought to increase access to healthy foods for their students in the classroom and in before- and after-school programming.

This school year, students have enjoyed participating in taste tests, and fresh fruits and vegetables are delivered to all classrooms twice per week with educational activities related to the food item of the week. Through this, students have increased their knowledge of healthy foods as well as their consumption of new, healthy treats. Exposing students to these options will help them make healthier choices when out of school and continue to develop healthy eating habits.

Raymer Elementary is one of five schools in the Toledo Public School District that was awarded with a Game On Grant for the 2018-2019 school year by Action for Healthy Kids and Trustmark Foundation. Together, this district is putting their best foot forward to continuously improve their school health and wellness. As they continue to expand their programming, they’re also building a stronger community, committed to healthy, happy children!