NEW YORK—A host of children gathered on Ditmars Boulevard Thursday morning to take a brisk walk to school. They were participating in a walking competition for health, called Beat the Street. They get points for every walk to and from school, competing with other schools, half way around the globe.
Steinway intermediate school (P.S. 141) is one of the highest achieving schools in the nation and also the running winner of this year’s competition. Thursday was a special day for P.S. 141 students, as City School Chancellor, Denis Walcott, joined their walk, as well as head of the city’s transportation department, Janette Sadik-Khan.
“We’re doing this for two purposes,” said Lori Adamo, assistant principal at P.S. 141. “One is to conserve energy, so the more the children walk, the less fuel they burn. And two is for their health, because we found that children in this age group in particular suffer from obesity.”
And it seems to work. “So far it’s been highly effective,” she said. “We are at 100 percent participation for all students who registered and we’re winning.”
How to Beat the Street
Each participant gets a “BTS card” to swipe across card readers, Beat Boxes, set up along the way to school. There are three Beat Boxes for every school, each giving one, two, or three points, depending on how far the box is from the school. The points are given out only twice every school day, so each student can get maximum of 12 points a day. Results are gathered and accessible online on the competition’s website.
Beat the Street is produced by Intelligent Health, a UK based IT company supplying the equipment.
11 schools from New York, Shanghai, London and Liverpool already joined the competition this year.