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Holbrook Elementary finalist in governor’s fitness challenge

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 at 10:03 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Holbrook Principal Sara Dieli received some bittersweet news yesterday: the school has been named one of the top 10 finalists for the Governor’s fitness challenge. It is the only Contra Costa County school to earn this honor.

Dieli said the recogniztion is thanks to teacher Steve Slater, who organized noon league basketball and hockey every day on his lunch hour. Louella Giron, from the CARES after-school program, kept track of all the minutes students spent doing physical activities, she said.

She forwarded me the following e-mail she received from the program organizers, congratulating her and the school.


The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports will announce that your school is one of 116 state-wide school finalists tomorrow, June 21st. For being named a finalist your school will receive a ‘Champions for Fitness’ banner in the fall.

Feel free to share this news with your parents, teachers and district office…

Next Steps:

We will be reviewing essays submitted by our school finalists this summer and announcing our award winners in September.

Good luck, and thank you again for all you do to help your students get active, healthy and fit!

Kimberly Selman, Program Associate, Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.”

Here’s the offficial press release:


Holbrook Elementary School to be considered for prizes worth up to $100,000

Los Angeles, Calif. – Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, announced today that Holbrook Elementary School in Concord is one of nine school finalists in the Bay Area 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.

The nine Bay Area school finalists are:

Holbrook Elementary in Concord
FAME Public Charter in Fremont
Junction K-8 in Livermore
Rancho Las Positas Elementary in Livermore
Los Altos High in Los Altos
Sunset Ridge Elementary in Pacifica
Brooktree Elementary in San Jose
Ruskin Elementary in San Jose
Jefferson Elementary in San Leandro

The Governor’s Challenge is to be active 30-60 minutes a day, at least three days a week for a month. All 394 Holbrook students successfully completed at least one Challenge this year, and together the school’s students, teachers and parents engaged in more than 95,000 days of physical activity. Today’s announcement marks the fourth year that Holbrook has been named a finalist in the Governor’s Challenge. In 2009 the school received a $1,000 Front Runner Award for having recorded the most days of physical activity of any elementary school in the Bay Area region at the half-way point in the competition. In 2007 Holbrook was named the competition’s Bay Area Regional Champion and received a $5,000 award.

‘Congratulations to all the Holbrook students, parents and teachers who have been stepping up to make fitness a priority all year,’ said Steinfeld. ‘And a special congratulations to Principal Dieli and Governor’s Challenge Coordinator Louella Giron – two great educators who 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!’

The 116 school finalists named today are now under consideration for prizes including 6 brand new fitness centers valued at $100,000 each and 11 Regional Awards of $6,000 each, which will be used to buy new physical activity equipment and other school supplies. Award winning schools will be announced at a special ceremony at the Capitol in September.

Statewide more than 1.4 million participants recorded more than 8 million days of physical activity through the Governor’s Challenge in 2011. Complete physical activity records of participating schools in the Governor’s Challenge can be found at

‘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.

Anthem Blue Cross Foundation is the title sponsor of the Governor’s Council Spotlight Awards that fund the Competition’s three grand prize fitness centers. The Coca-Cola Company is the sponsor of an additional three Live Positively Fitness Center awards that will be donated to schools this year. CVS/pharmacy sponsors the Governor’s Challenge Competition Front Runner Awards and the $6,000 Regional Awards. General Mills’ sponsorship funds the Certificates of Completion which students completing the Governor’s Challenge receive. Partners of the Governor’s Council include Tuff Stuff Fitness Equipment, which helps equip the fitness centers the Council awards, 24 Hour Fitness which provides free passes to high school students taking the Governor’s Challenge, and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area which provides free lift tickets to K-12 students taking the Governor’s Challenge.

About the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

The California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting physical activity for all Californians with an emphasis on children and youth. Council members include Chairman Jake Steinfeld, Vice Chairman Peter Vidmar, and California sports legends such as Tony Hawk, Misty May-Treanor, and Laila Ali. Governor Brown is the Honorary Chairman and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is the co-Honorary Chairman.

Governor’s Council key initiatives include the Governor’s Challenge, the Governor’s Council Spotlight Awards presented by the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation, the Live Like a Champion Tour powered by Anthem Blue Cross and Exercise is Medicine. Founding sponsors are Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Awards Kaiser Permanente. Other sponsors include The Coca-Cola Company, CVS/pharmacy and General Mills.

For more information, visit”

Where do you think the district should hang Holbrook’s banner, which it will receive in the fall?

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