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Stephanie Jones’ third-grade students at Santa Cruz Elementary School are participating in a project centered on fitness and global citizenship sponsored by Scholastic and UNICEF, which are partnering to provide food and nutrition packets to children in underdeveloped countries.

“I submitted an application, and my class (along with our sixth-grade classes and other classes around the country) was chosen to receive a kit that included fitness tracker bands for every student, along with charging stations,” Jones said. The kit also included a tablet to be used to sync and track the students’ steps, as well as other educational purposes.”

Students track their steps daily and sync the bands while they charge in the morning. For every 2,400 steps the students take, they earn one point. Every 10 points (either as a class or individually) provides one food packet to be sent to a child in need.

“My students are so excited about this project,” Jones said. “Not only has it provided a fun incentive to move (earning the steps and comparing them with their friends), but it has also provided a learning opportunity in the area of global citizenship and helping less fortunate children.

“Within the first 30 hours, my class had already earned 131 points, which translates to 13 food packets. Students averaged 6,341 steps between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. I’m planning on tying the project to our upcoming graphing unit in math class, as well as social studies and obviously physical education.”