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Christina Scripps, Discovery Education

Stacy Jones, Sanford Health

Catherine Daniel, WebMD



— Winners from Maryland, California and Florida Awarded Funds to Expand Healthy Living Initiatives in Schools —

Silver Spring, Md. (May 12, 2014) – Sanford Health, WebMD and Discovery Education announced today the winners of the ‘fit 4 the classroom’ national sweepstakes, awarding educators with funds to expand health and wellness initiatives at their schools.  Chosen from thousands of entries across the country, Zakia Ashley, a teacher at Mary Ann Winterling Elementary School #150 in Baltimore, Md., was named the grand prize winner and awarded $5,000 for her classroom and $5,000 for the school.  Additionally, Jennifer Wright of Montara Elementary School in Barstow, Calif. and Johanna Rodriguez of Renaissance Charter School at Plantation in Plantation, Fla. were named second and third place winners and given $1,000 for their classroom and $1,000 for the school. 

Rooted in the four pillars of fit – mood, move, food and recharge – fit 4 the classroom helps to promote healthy habits among students with dynamic, cross-curricular lesson plans and videos that spans across science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects aligned to national education standards. Lessons cover topics such as the effect of music on mood, and how sleep affects the body and brain. Techniques include using analytical and graphing skills to explore the concepts of potential and kinetic energy, connecting those ideas to athletic performance and living a healthy lifestyle.

fit 4 the classroom recognizes the critical role that schools and teachers play in promoting healthy habits for our students, while helping to expand critical health and wellness initiatives to achieve that goal,” said Tisha Edward, interim CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. “We are grateful to Sanford Health, WebMD and Discovery Education for providing these valuable resources to our schools.”

Last year’s winners from Fairfield Elementary in Fairfield, Mont. used their award to fund a running program to keep students active at school.  To-date 70% of Fairfield students in grades K-6 have participated in the program by running a mile or more.

“We are very pleased with the overwhelming response to the second year of fit 4 the classroom and are grateful to our partners, Discovery Education and WebMD, for their continued cooperation to expand this valuable program across the country. As we continue to offer these resources, we hope that more educators will take advantage of this fun and straightforward method to incorporate the fit principles into their classrooms while still focusing on the critical STEM subjects,” said Neal Nachtigall, Director of Children's Health and Fitness Initiatives at Sanford Health.

Now in its second year, the ‘fit 4 the classroom’ program for elementary educators, students and their families promotes students’ ‘whole-body’ health and wellness. The program recognizes, as young children begin their educational journey, that elementary educators like Zakia Ashley, Jennifer Wright and Johanna Rodriguez not only have the opportunity to build the foundation for a child’s academic success, but also to provide an environment where children can develop good habits for a healthy lifestyle.

For more information on the ‘fit 4 the classroom’ program, visit:

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas and is now the largest rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in nine states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Israel and Mexico. Sanford Health includes 39 hospitals, 225 clinic locations and 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with nearly a billion dollars in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford. These gifts are making possible the implementation of the several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer.

About WebMD

WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) is the leading provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, health care professionals, employers, and health plans through our public and private online portals, mobile platforms, and health-focused publications. The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD Health, Medscape, MedicineNet, eMedicineHealth, RxList,, Medscape Education, and other owned WebMD sites.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at