That’s what 16 staff members at League Elementary did during their recent steps competition. Over 14 weeks, the eight partners took exactly 20,693,409 steps or about 10,346 miles.
“We could have walked from Ohio to California and back twice,” said Heather Kaltenbach, fourth-grade math teacher.
The competition started in Christmas and went through spring break. Kaltenbach sent out an email to League staff members and 16 people responded.
“We opened up to just League. (The participants) ranged from our youngest staff member to our oldest staff member,” she said.
The participants logged their steps through the FitBit app, which was linked to their watches.
“Our partner goal was 140,000 steps per week. Then if you got 140,000 you got a ticket for a drawing at the end of the week. The more steps you got, the more tickets you got,” Kaltenbach said. “We drew names and we were in teams of two.”
If a partner-team didn’t make the steps goal, they paid into the “pot.”
There was a random drawing as to which pair won the pot. Coincidentally, it went to Kaltenbach, who kept track of the statistics, and her partner, Jeanette Beabout. The pair earned 37 tickets over the 14-week competition.
Intervention specialist Lisa Arnold was involved. To reach her step goal, she sometimes walked with her 3-year-old daughter, who occasionally would ride her bicycle while her mother walked. The competition also motivated her to use a treadmill.
“I just had a baby in July. It got me moving,” Arnold said.
League staff members saw their co-workers doing plenty of walking in the school building to reach their steps goal.
“You’d see teachers walking the hallways before school. We would walk steps,” Arnold said.
Expect to see another competition at League soon. Teachers said the previous one motivated them and helped them lose weight.
“We are going to start another one after spring break. We will work it as individuals instead of step (partners),” Kaltenbach said.
Next school year, she might open up the competition to the rest of Norwalk City Schools.
“If we start small, we can go from there,” Kaltenbach said.