Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

February 28, 2017
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


Celebrating Rockland County's Physical Activity Awareness Day on March 3, 2017

NEW CITY, NY - - To improve child health and academic success, Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage schools, teachers, and students across the county to participate in Rockland's fifth annual "March Forward" school-based physical activity awareness day on Friday, March 3, 2017.

During "March Forward," teachers are encouraged to lead students in one to five-minute physical activity "brain breaks" throughout the school day to improve concentration and to help students get enough daily physical activity. This year, organizers hope at least half of all teachers, in every public school will participate. In addition to classroom physical activity breaks, there is a growing trend for schools to involve students and faculty in school-wide physical activity such as group walking or yoga to highlight the role of physical activity in improving health and academic performance.

To participate, schools must register and teachers must submit their own Participation Feedback Form. The Rockland Teachers' Center and the Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) will use the collected March Forward data to identify and publicly recognize the schools that reached this year's target of 50% or more of teachers participating.

"Studies show that physical activity and physical fitness improves memory as well as the ability to manage complex problems. Small amounts of physical activity in the classroom help students learn and can boost grades while helping kids get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day," said Dr. Ruppert.

"March Forward" was created by the Rockland County School Health and Wellness Coalition which continues to provide the county's schools with innovative programs to benefit student health and learning.

Educators can find all necessary forms and get ideas for physical activity breaks on the "March Forward" website, or by contacting the RCDOH School Health Coordinator at 845-364-2360, or e-mail