Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

March 3, 2020
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


Celebrating Rockland County's Physical Activity Awareness Day

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage Rockland school administrators, teachers, and students to participate in Rockland's eighth annual "March Forward," the county's classroom-based physical activity awareness day. March Forward starts on the first Friday of March and runs through the second Friday. This year, March Forward will take place from Friday, March 6th to Friday, March 13th.

"Studies show that physical activity and physical fitness improve memory as well as the ability to manage complex cognitive tasks for adults and young people. Small amounts of physical activity in the classroom has been shown to help students learn and boost grades while helping them get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day," said Dr. Ruppert.

Participating schools that achieve 75% teacher participation will receive public recognition. In addition to teachers leading classroom physical activity breaks or integrating physical activity into lessons, there is a growing trend for schools to use March Forward to highlight the health and academic benefits of physical activity by engaging staff and students in group walks, extended recess, or yoga during March Forward week. This year, Suffern Central School District will offer a month-long series of physical activity promotions for teachers and students starting with March Forward.

"As a 20-year youth coach in three sports, I understand how important physical activity is to the development of our young people. I urge all of our local schools, teachers and students to get active and get involved in this initiative," said County Executive Day.

Participating schools and teachers can find the school registration form and the teacher Participation Feedback Form as well as resources such as movement videos and active lesson plans and ideas on the March Forward webpage:

March Forward was created by the Rockland County School Health and Wellness Coalition in 2013, which continues to provide the county's educators and youth-serving professionals with innovative programs to benefit student health and learning. For more information, visit

For additional information on the School Coalition or March Forward, contact the RCDOH School Health Coordinator at 845-364-2360, or e-mail