Walktober: Taking Life One Step at a Time


Ian Lattimer

Walktober is a great way for people to start their journey to fitness. It promotes taking small steps to slowly improve health.

This year, Cam High is continuing a program called ‘Walktober’ that promotes exercise among staff members. 

Walktober — which is supported by HealthCorps, a volunteer group — is a step-tracking program that allows participants to develop healthy habits by working out and exercising.

HealthCorps offers events such as Walktober and the Health Fair held that was hosted throughout the Oxnard Union High School District last year. The HealthCorps’s website describes its mission as a “National nonprofit that gives teens the tools to improve mental and physical health to live happier lives.”

Walktober works by tracking the individual’s steps with an iPhone, Fitbit or another device.

The participant receives an email from the organization HealthCorps with instructions on how to record and input his or her total amount of steps in each given week. The count will increase as the competition progresses, and at the end of the month, the person and school with the most steps will receive a prize, such as workout equipment or a trophy.

Last year’s Walktober was coordinated by Ms. Claudia Grafenstein, one of Cam High’s physical education teachers. The individuals who won last year were Mr. Dennis Riedmiller and Ms. Michele Sveiven.

This year’s Walktober was led by Grafenstein once again. However, Grafenstein received support from HealthCorps, unlike last year. Currently, the district has over 300 staff members who are participating in the program. Grafenstein said, “The program is hoping to help teachers in bettering oneself.”

Some current participants of Walktober are Ms. Teresa Scarpace, physical education teacher, and Ms. Linda Westbrook, Cam High’s Secretary.

Scarpace is participating in Walktober to improve her personal health. She said, “[The program] really relieves my stress, gives me more energy and makes me feel good for the rest of my day.”

Westbrook — a 5k medalist who has competitively walked for six years — is also participating in the program. She said, “I hope to get back into shape, to get back into 5k’s, and just enjoy it overall.” 

More details can be found on HealthCorps’s website