What is it?
Flat 14'ers is a program that was initiated to encourage people to do a virtual climb of Colorado's 14,000 ft. tall mountains by tracking their individual physical activity. We have taken the original idea and made it into a school wide exercise program that builds good mental and physical health as well as encourages goal setting and perseverance.
Why are we walking?
Despite the Federal recommendation that all children get 60 minutes of activity a day, only 49% of Colorado children reached that threshold, according to 2011 data from Dept. of Public Health. There are numerous studies that show healthy children are less likely to have behavior problems. These studies have documented the link between mind and body, and the effect of movement on cognition. Research also shows that physical activity improves a students ability to focus and decreases symptoms of attention deficit disorders. Children who engage in physical activity as part of the learning environment are healthier and process information better. All of these facts lead to the passing of House Bill 11-1069 in 2011; a Colorado law that requires elementary schools to provide students opportunities to be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. Flat 14'ers, along with recess, P.E. classes, and physical activity/ brain breaks in the classroom, all help Gold Rush achieve this goal.
How does it work?
A class selects a mountain depending on their mileage goals (short, medium, or long) and the whole class walks together around any of the 3 designated trails on the school grounds. After a walk is completed, a student marks off the appropriate number of boxes on their class tally sheet. Once the class has accumulated the number of miles it takes to climb their chosen 14'er, the class receives a medallion marker above their door. The class can then choose another mountain and continue hiking. Keep an eye out as you walk down the hallways and see which mountains we are hiking.