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Local schools finalists in Governors Challenge
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The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports announced Tuesday that Osborn Elementary in Turlock and Denair Middle School in Denair are two of the 12 school finalists in the Gold Country Region and 116 schools state-wide that have been named finalists in the 2011 Governor’s Challenge Competition. 

The Governor’s Challenge Competition is a contest that promotes increased physical activity and better nutrition among California’s children.   

In order for physical activity to count, the Challenge calls for children to be active 30-60 minutes a day, at least three days a week for a month.  All 673 students at Osborn Elementary successfully completed at least one Challenge this year, and together they recorded 107,680 Active Days.  Tuesday’s announcement marks the second year in a row that Osborn Elementary has been named a finalist in the Governor’s Challenge.

Denair Middle School has been a finalist in each of the last two years and won a $1,000 Front Runner Award in 2009.  This year, all 317 students took and completed the Governor’s Fitness Challenge and together they recorded 65,424 Active Days.  In addition, 92 other parents, teachers and other Denair adult supporters took the Challenge and recorded an additional 9,271 Active Days this year.

“Congratulations to all the Osborn Elementary and Denair Middle School students, parents and teachers who have been stepping up to make fitness a priority all year,” said Jake Steinfeld, chairman of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. 

Steinfeld also commended the work done by principals Ed Ewing and Aaron Delworth (Denair), along with coordinators Norma Arias and Valorie Periera (Denair).

“These great educators have been relaying the message that being active not only helps you get healthier, it helps your mind work better and boosts your confidence and self esteem too,” Steinfeld said.

Osborn and Denair are now under consideration for prizes including six brand new fitness centers valued at $100,000 each and a Regional Award of $6,000, which will be used to buy new physical activity equipment and other school supplies. 

Statewide, more than 1.4 million participants recorded more than 8 million days of physical activity through the Governor’s Challenge in 2011. 

“I want to emphasize that during these times when budgets are so tight, we’ve been able to promote the Governor’s Challenge without adding any burden to California taxpayers,” said Steinfeld.  “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors — Anthem Blue Cross Foundation, the Coca-Cola Company, CVS/pharmacy, General Mills, and Kaiser Permanente — a record 1.4  million California children, parents and teachers signed up to take the Governor’s Challenge this year.” 

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.