Fairport Central School District

Step by step: Fairport staff goes on fitness journey to get moving during pedometer challenge

When two teachers at Johanna Perrin (JP) Middle School in Fairport went jogging together after school one day, they thought of creating a school staff pedometer challenge. When the teachers – Health Teacher Debbie Disleson and Literacy Specialist Christine Scoppa – opened up the possibility of the challenge to the staff at JP, they were amazed by the positive response. 


“Collectively, our main goal was really to have fun and participate in team building, while setting a good example for our students,” said Gisleson. “Individually, participants were looking forward to reaping the benefits of walking and feeling healthier.”


During the six-week challenge, 70 staff members were divided into teams of five. Participants wore pedometers every day and tallied their steps at the end of each week. Weekly prizes were given and top teams and individuals were announced.


Scoppa and Gisleson tracked the participants’ cumulative steps using a map of the world, on display near the main office, for the entire school to see.


The challenge grew when 13 Fairport business sponsors donated gift cards for weekly winners. In addition, Fleet Feet visited JP weekly to talk to participants, facilitate group workouts before and after school, and provide incentive prizes. In the end, JP Strides participants totaled 25,225,848 steps –12,613 miles – in six weeks.


Scoppa said the benefits of the program went far beyond the number of steps accumulated. 


“Participants shared that the program helped them be more active, get to know their colleagues better, have more energy and feel better about their health,” she said.

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