The east Cherokee County school's PTA Health and Nutrition Committee is coordinating "The Biggest Loser and Family Fitness Challenge."
The challenge is from March 4 to May 20, and the entry fee is $10 per family that's a member of the school's PTA and $12 for nonmembers. For Avery Elementary staff, the cost is $5 per family.
PTA Health and Nutrition Committee member Adrien Cissell Thies said the challenge is designed to promote exercise and healthy eating between children and parents.
The goal, she said, is to get entire families off the couch.
"There are little things you can do to make small changes in your diet," she said.
The challenge kickoff on March 4 at the school will feature NBC TV's "The Biggest Loser" Season 8 contestant Antoine Dove and his fiancee, Alexandra White, as guest speakers. The free event at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria is open to the public.
Weekly weigh-ins will be held, as will monthly motivational meetings featuring local health and fitness instructors.
Winners will be selected by the percentage of weight lost by the entire family.
Canton's American Bodyworks is sponsoring the challenge. The winners will receive two one-year memberships to the gym, which have a value of $459 each, and include consultation with a personal trainer and a health assessment.
Also, Demyen Family Chiropractic in Hickory Flat will donate a whole month of services to the winners.
During the challenge, participants can purchase a discounted three-month membership to American Bodyworks for $99. It includes tanning, fitness consultation and a nutrition assessment.
Heather Thomas, co-chairman of the PTA health and nutrition committee, said contestants also will have a chance to win gift cards from health and fitness-related businesses. They will regularly receive newsletters with health and nutrition tips for the entire family as well.
The PTA held a similar challenge last year that was limited to Avery Elementary parents, Ms. Thomas said. It included monthly "Fitness is Fun" classes with yoga, kickboxing and boot camp.
Ms. Thomas said she's hoping to use this year's challenge program as part of the PTA's grant application to the General Mills Foundation.
The foundation awards $10,000 to a community-based organization that uses creative ways to help youth adopt a balanced diet and an active physical lifestyle.
Both Ms. Thies and Ms. Thomas said they hope the entire community takes advantage of the challenge.
"It's a great way for families to interact and do something good for the health of their families," Ms. Thomas said.
Amanda Hugo, co-chairwoman of the PTA health and nutrition committee, said she, her husband and fourth-grade daughter also plan to participate.
Her husband, she said, is "pretty excited" about participating, adding that she hopes the initiative teaches their daughter the importance of being physically active and eating healthy.
The challenge, she said, also is a start at addressing one of society's main problems.
"Obesity among our kids is rampant," she said.