Successful Strategies for Challenge Coordinators

The following are strategies for helping your students to develop healthy habits and succeed in the Challenge. They are based on suggestions from past Healthy Futures Challenge Coordinators:

  • Create a competition between grades or classes within your school! Reward the grade or class with the highest percentage of participating students with an extra PE class, a day of extended recess, a trophy that rotates between winning grades/classes, or a “free choice” day in PE class.
  • Publicly recognize winners with a poster in the hall outside their classroom or on a bulletin board at the front of the school. Try something like, “CONGRATULATIONS! This is the classroom of the Healthy Futures Fitness Champions!” Consider including a photo of the class doing something active.
  • Ask staff to participate in the challenge and display their logs for students to see. A large dry erase version of the activity log works well for this. You may even encourage kids to compete with their teachers!
  • Post photos of the kids who have turned in the most logs or who have logged the most hours. Include each students’ favorite activity.
  • Consider approaching your school’s PTA for support. They may be able to provide a prize (like a healthy snack party!) for the class with the most participation.
  • Assign the log as a daily homework assignment. If you use homework folders, include the log in the folder.
  • Keep families in the loop! Email them, post information at the front of the school, or include Challenge information in the school newsletter. Include reminders about prizes, log due dates, students or classes that are succeeding, and suggestions for getting the whole family involved.
  • Fill out the log as a class. This can be done daily or weekly. Have a couple students share what activities they did.
  • Create a challenge between teachers, and post progress for students to see.
  • Recognize students who exercise the most hours at a monthly assembly, or recognize students who turn in the most logs in the spring and fall at an assembly.
  • Ask your PTA to offer incentives like gift cards or month passes to a fitness club for teachers with high rates of participation in their classes.
  • Offer incentives to teachers who fill out their own logs! Create a monthly drawing for a prize, and enter every teacher who completes a log.
  • Have a student make a daily or weekly announcement to the school reminding students and teachers to fill out their activity logs.
  • Start an after school Fitness Club at your school! Have students log their activity at Fitness Club.
  • If your students fill their activity logs out at home, have a class discussion about where to keep logs so they’re visible everyday and don’t get lost. Taped to the wall next to the bedroom door? Magnet on the refrigerator?
  • Ask students to record what activity they did, along with the amount of time they did it. Use this to keep a running list of activities hanging on the wall of your classroom for all students to see.
  • Have older students pair with younger students to monitor and encourage them.
  • Hold a kick-off assembly to encourage participation! Have students demonstrate activities, recognize past active participants, demonstrate prizes, and/or get in touch with Healthy Futures to arrange for a visit from a Healthy Hero!
  • Laminate a large chart to hang on the wall with each student’s name. When they arrive in the morning, their first task before you begin your lesson could be too write down what activity they did the day before and the length of time. Read a couple out loud, and allow a few minutes for students to record the information on their personal logs.
  • Hang a chart with each student’s name. Every week put a sticker next to the names of students who complete a week of their log. This helps keep the momentum going!
  • Hold a monthly school-wide contest for designing the activity log. Print out copies of the winning log for students every month.