Challenge asks students to 'Step It Up!'

The Cornelius PARC Department, Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville and J.V. Washam Elementary School are promoting health and wellness through fitness in a summer program called "Step It Up!"

Rising fourth-graders and faculty are wearing pedometers over summer vacation and have been challenged to walk 10,000 steps a day.

The students will walk and log their steps for at least 50 days, and teachers will walk 10,000 steps as many days as possible.

When they return to school in the fall, students will turn in their logs. The new fourth-graders will have a Fitness Fun Day, and those who completed the program will get T-shirts and be entered in a raffle to win prizes.

Tanya Blackmon, president of Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville, said, "We are proud to participate in the 'Step it Up!' program. Improving the health of the youth in our community directly relates to the mission of Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville."

Raymond Giovanelli, principal at the school, said, "We believe strongly that if our students learn to lead a healthy lifestyle, they will also have healthy minds."

Learn to run

Are you a wanna-be runner but can't get up the motivation or don't know how to start? The Cornelius PARC Department has a solution.

The Couch-to-5K Running Plan, for ages 18 and up, will help you change from couch potato to runner in six weeks. It will meet 7-8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays July 12-Aug. 18 at Bailey Middle School's track.

You'll learn proper warm-up techniques, go through a running workout (working toward running a 5K) and learn stretches for quicker recovery after running.

Jeff Heal, owner of Fitness Together, will lead the class. He has been in the fitness industry for more than 15 years.

Cost: $40 for Cornelius residents; $48 for others. Register at the town hall or online. Details: 704-765-1450;

Powerade State Games

The Powerade State Games multi-sport festival has returned and will be here through next Sunday.

The games first came to our area in 2009. They're designed to promote personal development through physical fitness and health.

The softball high school showcase, youth baseball competition and youth soccer competition will all take place in our area.

For info about the Powerade State Games of North Carolina, go to