Movement Madness has begun!

64 teams are competing in 4 different brackets: Sqweet 16, Orange, Green and Blue. We are seeing great competition across all programs across the country! Top winners will compete for the ultimate prize: SQORD’S MOVEMENT MADNESS TROPHY and of course, bragging rights! Sqord will be making a lot of “shout outs” on social media too, follow Sqord on Facebook and Instagram!

GET MOVING, GET SYNCING & WIN!

(updated Thursday, March 23, 2017)

The top Round 1 Scoring Team in the nation is Woodridge Elementary, Spokane, WA! They are well on their way to Round 2 – Elite 8. Photo below of the Woodridge Elementary team. Keep up the great activity!

The current standings for Movement Madness 2017 (week 2) are below:

CHAMPIONS BRACKET: 

BLUE BRACKET:

GREEN BRACKET:

ORANGE BRACKET:

Movement Madness details and qualifications: 

Each week our Coaches will send updated bracket summaries.  If you would like to check your standings, login here and view the “Milestones” tab. Teams are eager to compete and the competition will be fierce.  During the Movement Madness tourney, we will be highlighting teams on our social media pages.  Make sure to follow Sqord on Facebook and Instagram to be featured or learn about other teams playing.

Every participating team will have a spring break over the course of the competition.  We encourage you to help your players stay active when school is out.  Have them sync on a mobile device if they can. It all counts!

Highest average weekly sync rate (1 sync a day earns players 7000 extra points) and highest average activity points. Weekly competitions will run on Tuesdays through Mondays. Weekly winners will move on to play in the next bracket.  There will also be an alternate bracket, for those that would like to continue competing and are unable to move on.

Sqweet 16 teams will receive a Limited Edition Sqord Basketball.  Top winners will compete for the ultimate prize: SQORD’S MOVEMENT MADNESS TROPHY and of course, bragging rights!  Sqord will be making a lot of “shout outs” on social media too!

 GET MOVING, GET SYNCING & WIN!

A Family that Sqords Together

(this article was first published in Providence Heart Beat, a publication of Providence Health Care)

The Sqord activity program for elementary school students in Spokane and Stevens counties has had unanticipated rewards that extend well beyond the classroom.

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“When my daughter was given a Sqord, I quickly realized I wanted one as well,” says Pamela Starbuck, whose daughter Eliana is a student at Jeerson Elementary.  Pamela bought Sqord trackers for herself and her younger daughter so the three could enjoy family competition.

“My mom’s in third place,” Eliana shares. “She has more points than Mrs. Goodey.” (Sarah Goodey is a fitness and health specialist with Spokane Public Schools.)

“My daughters definitely come home from school sweatier than before the Sqord project,” Pamela says. “They are naturally early risers, but now they get extra points for dressing and straightening up the house before school.”

Healthy doses of exercise have become part of the family’s routine. Eliana’s father, Scott, is an avid Sqord supporter and has taken up distance cycling as part of his fitness regimen. “We’re making activity a family goal and encouraging each other,” Pamela says. “We even became a one-car family and now walk whenever possible.”

Fighting Childhood Diabetes Through Fun

Childhood obesity has been the leading health concern in kids for a number of years for good reason. According to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the percentage of children ages 6 to 11 years in the United States who were considered obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012. The percentage of kids ages 12 to 19 who were considered obese increased from 5 percent to nearly 21percent over the same period.

Associated health risks

Exacerbating the concern over childhood obesity are the greater health risks that come with obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes. Traditionally, Type 2 diabetes was referred to as “adult diabetes” given that it is often associated with inactivity and obesity. But now that we see greater levels of obesity in kids, and decreased activity levels as screens occupy more of kids’ days, Type 2 diabetes has become a true childhood concern. In fact, childhood diabetes has increased by nearly 30 percent in the past 15 years. Most children who develop Type 2 diabetes have a family member with the disease:

  • 45–80 percent have a parent with Type 2 diabetes
  • 74–90 percent report at least one affected first- or second-degree relative

First Lady’s program inspires kids to move

New programs help shine a spotlight on the need to get kids up and moving more during their tween and teen years. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative has inspired efforts in schools and neighborhoods to get kids up and moving. In fact, 11 million kids attend schools that are part of the Let’s Move! Active Schools program where they strive to make 60 minutes of physical activity a day the norm. The NFL’s Play 60 campaign leverages the power of celebrity to encourage active play for at least an hour a day, building greater awareness and encouragement to get up and play.

Even with these initiatives, kids are still drawn to screens and virtual worlds as their go-to sources for play.

Sqord inspires play away from a screen

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What if you could take kids’ love for video games and turn it on its head in a way that encourages them to get outside and play together in the real world?

Sqord is trying to do just that. One part social community, one part fitness tracker, one part game – Sqord tracks movement in the real world and converts it into Sqord Activity Points that kids can use in the Sqord app to unlock cool new features such as messaging and sending high-fives to friends, upgrading their PowerMe avatars and much more. Learn more about the activity benefits of Sqord.

Keeping kids active is one of the best ways to fight childhood diabetes. And while National Diabetes Month serves as a reminder of the importance for getting outside and moving, Sqord is a new way to motivate active play every single day.

Sqord is now available on Amazon individually or in dual packs that encourage real world play with friends.

Learn more about diabetes in children:

American Diabetes Association Preventing Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Providence Oregon Healthy Kids Program

Swedish Diabetes Education Center

Seahawks CJ Prosise challenges kids across Washington to ‘come play’

Football season is in full swing.  What better way to celebrate than by partnering up with a new star Seahawks player  to encourage playing together.

In partnership with Premera, Sqord is kicking off the “Come Play with C.J” challenge with Seahawks running back C.J. Prosise.

Over the next 4 weeks, C.J. will visit select schools in Washington encouraging kids to get out and play with other kids, building their physical activity levels using Sqord Activity Pods and Game App.

In addition, he’s offering a way to for kids across the state of Washington to play with him too.

Come Play with CJ Challenge

C.J. himself is wearing a Sqord Activity Pod racking up his Activity Points.  Each day, kids across the state of Washington can try and beat his Daily Activity Point level. Kids who opt-in to participate in the ‘Come Play with CJ” Challenge through the Sqord Game App will be eligible to win a Grand Prize pack, courtesy of Premera, that includes Seahawks tickets, gear and a meet/greet with CJ himself. See the full rules here.

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CJ a tremendous athlete.  But it’s his work ethic and belief in the power of playing together that makes him the perfect Sqord ambassador.

We’re excited to play with him this year. We hope you’ll come play with him too.
Go Seahawks!

Fall promotion gives families a way to play together and win together

This fall, we’re encouraging more families to get out and play together.

Sqord is all about encouraging group play as a way to build healthier kids – – physically, socially and emotionally.  One part social community, one part fitness tracker, one part game:  Sqord tracks movement in the real world and converts it into Activity Points.  Kids can use those points in the Sqord App to unlock cool new features such as messaging and sending high 5’s to friends, upgrading their PowerMe avatars and much more.  

Kids can compete with their friends  – or the world – in head to head challenges on the Sqord leaderboard, encouraging friendly competition and motivation.  And it all happens in a 100% safe, easy and fun experience built just for them.  

But why not get parents in on the action too?   

To celebrate the launch of our Family Pack, we’re giving families a chance to win together too.

Enter the Sqord Family Playstakes

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Starting today, you can enter to win a Family Playfest in San Diego and a Sqord Family Pack.  With this pack of 4 new Activity Pods, families can create some extra fun and competition while splashing in the waves, enjoying LEGOLAND or exploring Seaport Village!

Fall into Family Fitness

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Yesterday marked the first day of fall!  As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, don’t ‘fall’ into the habit of letting your family fitness goals go by the wayside.  Read about Sqord’s favorite ways to stay active during Autumn:

Make the most of the cool weather: The brilliant colors of the changing leaves and the autumn chill in the air is a magical combination for fun family hikes, bike rides, and walks.  Wear your Sqord Pods and see how many Activity Points your family can score!

Have some festive fun: Weave in and out of corn mazes for every level of adventure or play at the pumpkin patch!  Challenge your kids to find the oddest sized pumpkin and get some exercise by searching the far end of the patch.

Squash the rainy day blues: Who says you can’t continue some of your family’s beloved summer activities in the fall?  Take a trip to a local indoor pool!  Bonus: your Sqord Pod can get wet, so don’t worry about taking it off for your cannonballs!  Or, visit a local roller skating or ice skating rink.

5 Benefits of Team Sports

Today’s blog post is courtesy of Sqord’s Customer Ops Intern,  Anastasia Erofeeva.  As a former Washington state and regional gymnastics champion, she understands the hard work, dedication, and time it takes to be an athlete and team player, and she wants to share what she has learned with parents and kids.  

The beginning of a new school year is an exciting time, full of learning, friendships, and goal-setting.  It is also an excellent time to try new things, such as joining a club or a team sport.  Not only are team sports a great way to earn Sqord Activity Points and keep children active during the school year, they also provide numerous learning opportunities and benefits that will last a lifetime. Here are just a few of them:

1.  Keeps Kids Moving:

Team sports provide a reliable, consistent and fun way for kids to exercise.  According to KidsHealth, regular exercise helps kids become stronger and healthier, reducing their risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more.  Furthermore, studies have shown that active children are more likely to become active (and healthy!) adults.

2.  Academic Achievement:

Through participation in team sports, children learn valuable skills such as dedication, commitment, problem-solving, and an understanding that hard work leads to good results. These skills transfer from sports to the classroom, resulting in higher grades and an improved academic performance. In addition, team sports introduces kids to the art of creating your own balance and building great organization and time management skills, helping them balance homework, sports, family time, and rest.

3.  Teamwork:

The ability to work together towards a common goal is an essential part of team sports, as well as an important life skill.  Participation in team sports allows kids to make lasting friendships, develop communication skills, feel a sense of community, and learn to respect their teammates and coaches.  Additionally, being part of a team teaches children the importance of being a responsible and reliable team member.

4.  Confidence:

When kids see practice pay off, they gain confidence to work towards achieving their goals.  Team sports offer ample opportunities for participants to show off their skills, allowing them to see the results of their work and feel pride in their team’s accomplishments.  This helps children build self-esteem and have a positive outlook

5.  Life Lessons:

In addition to all of these benefits, participating in team sports provides children with the opportunity to learn patience, perseverance, hard work, and how to have a positive approach to setbacks.  Team sports helps put winning into perspective, showing kids that it is not the most important thing in sports.  Young athletes learn good sportsmanship, and how to make each game/meet/performance/event a learning opportunity, all while having fun and practicing a sport they enjoy!

Lastly, don’t forget to encourage your kiddos to wear their Sqord Pods while participating in team sports!  Learn how many Sqord Activity Points are generated by different types of exercise and movement!

San Diego Chargers Awards Grant for Sqord Pods!

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Yahoo!  King-Chavez Athletics Academy is a 2016 recipient of a Chargers Champions grant for our Sqord Pods from the San Diego Chargers!

Founded in 1995 by San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos, the Chargers Community Foundation created the Chargers Champions program to make a difference in the lives of children in San Diego.  The Chargers Champions School Grant program assists San Diego County schools with establishing and accelerating the success of the basic physical fitness, nutrition and athletic needs of their students.  The program annually provides selected schools with grants of up to $75,000 for high schools; up to $40,000 for middle schools and up to $30,000 for elementary schools.

When Sam Hess, Vice Principal at King-Chavez Athletics Academy, decided to apply for this grant, he knew it would be a tough process and that standing out would be a key factor in the acceptance of his grant proposal.  How did Sam stand out and make this happen?  Rather than request upgrades to the school gym or physical fitness equipment for sports, he wanted something to help children succeed and stay healthy from childhood to adulthood.  The Chargers Champions were extremely excited to see a Vice Principal asking for funds to help children build and maintain lifelong healthy habits using our Sqord Pods!

Thanks you San Diego Chargers and Chargers Champions, and congratulations Sam Hess and King Chavez Athletics Academy!  Sqord is super pumped to be a small part of supporting youth health and fitness in San Diego County schools!

Click here to read more about it!

Let’s Move! Active Schools is Partnering with Sqord

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Sqord is another Activity Point closer to keeping kids active and fit!  We are so excited to announce a new and impactful partnership.  Let’s Move! Active Schools, part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, announced nine new partnerships today, and Sqord happens to be one of them!

Dedicated to ensuring that 60 minutes of physical activity a day for children is the new norm in K-12 schools across the country, Let’s Move! Active Schools equips schools with the resources and tools to increase physical education and physical activity.  Sqord is proud to be a part of this initiative!

“We’re thrilled to be part of such a high-impact initiative as Let’s Move! Active Schools, which fits so perfectly with our Sqord mission to provide a proven solution that gets kids active and healthy again through technology and gamification.” –Paul Sebastien, CEO, Sqord

Click here and here for more information about this exciting new partnership!

 

 

3 Things to Do Now to Get Ready for Back to School

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It’s back to school prep time!  Here are some ideas to make the transition back to school smooth and seamless for your family.  Read on for three things you can do to help your children prepare for the upcoming school year:

1. Routine, routine, routine:
A big chunk of the battle is getting back into a regular school routine.  Have your children practice getting up and getting dressed at the same time everyday.  Start practicing assembling outfits (and finding shoes!) each night to save time in the morning.  Get your children into the habit now of making sure their backpacks are organized and ready to go before they go to bed.  You can even start to serve snacks and meals at the same time your child will have them in school.   And don’t forget fitness – building exercise routines as a family is not only fun, it will help your children feel excited for P.E.!  Click here for inspiration!

2. Put on a happy face:
Thoughts of homework, uncertainty about new teachers, worries of making new friends – as children start to head into back-to-school mode, they can experience a lot of different feelings, ranging the gamut from excitement to dread.  Your influence as a parent can have a huge impact!  Help instill confidence that this year is going to be the best school year yet for them.  Discuss with each child their joys and concerns for the school year – what are they looking forward to?  What are they nervous  about?  Start a journal where you and your child(ren) can communicate your feelings about the school year openly.  Mention exciting opportunities such as making new friends, joining clubs or sport teams, and the opportunity to learn about new and  interesting subjects.

3.  Get organized:
A stitch in time saves nine!  We know this is a tough one, however the more organized you are now, the better off your children’s first few weeks of school will be.  Make a place for your kids to stash book bags, a spot for important papers, a lunch packing station in the kitchen, and a calendar for everyone to write and keep track of important dates.  Also, start to think about getting your children involved in programs after school to keep them active and provide something fun and challenging for them to look forward to at the end of the school day.