Gear Up & Go! is an exciting initiative designed to be fun and encourage students to be more active and foster a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. This initiative is full of exciting opportunities for our students and their families.
Gear Up & Go! is utilizing technology to engage fifth-grade students and help teachers rapidly discover and share best practices throughout the county to improve health for all. This initiative is designed to support efforts underway already in schools, community organizations and at home! The goal is to boost levels of healthy activity tied to personal health and academic performance. Every school district and community has programs underway. Through Gear Up & Go!, we can all work together to see which approaches countywide are working best, share successes and help students and families be more healthy. Visit the Gear Up & Go! website for more information.
Why 5th Graders?
Fifth grade is a critical year in determining lifestyle patterns. National data shows a steep decline in healthy activity from fourth to eighth grade. The Washington State Healthy Youth Survey has shown that only one-in-four sixth graders in Snohomish County get the 60 minutes of daily vigorous activity recommended for all students aged 6-17 to support healthy fitness, bone and brain development.
As of October 2013, both Monte Cristo and Mountain Way Elementary Schools have been participating schools. Each school in Snohomish County has a webpage containing information achievements and weekly standings.
How it Works
- Gear Up & Go! has partnered with Sqord, a fun and innovative technology that captures the intensity and duration of movement (see below for more information on Sqords).
- With parent permission, participating students will receive a Sqord PowerPod that translates activity into digital points in a friendly social game
Sqord is an exciting hardware and software that makes healthy, active play more fun for kids by turning activity into points and friendly social competition. Sqord has three primary components:
- The PowerPod, which students wear like a watch, which will be used to measure, track, bring awareness and hopefully increase physical activity levels
- SyncStations, located at all participating elementary schools and all Snohomish County YMCAs
- Sqord.com, the website where students can create their own avatar (known as a PowerMe) and track their points and interact with fellow students
For a parent informational handout regarding Sqord, click here.
Partners of the Initiative
- YMCA of Snohomish County is providing each fifth-grade student with a FREE school-year membership, as well as unique programming for Gear Up & Go! participants and passes for their families;
- Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County is providing a SyncStation available to all students at each of their locations;
- Sno-Isle Libraries are providing SyncStations for students at each branch.