This school year has been a landmark year for Weldon Gibson Elementary School in Corpus Christi, Texas. In the FUTP 60 program, students have completed 1,062 challenges, which has produces 13 ambassadors representing our school. The fourth and fifth grade students that completed 26.2 miles of running, total 47 at the present time with more getting closer to their goal. Three of those 47 have reached the 52.4 mile goal. The students have also competed in two 5K runs and are preparing for another one. They have more than doubled their participation in such runs.
Our school is in a neighborhood where there is poverty. Some of our students come from foster homes, single parent homes and some live with grandparents. Still others come from Spanish speaking only households. Some live in motels, trailer parks, rental homes, shelters and regular homes. With all the challenges they face every day at home and school, they continue to overcome the obstacles that we take for granted. Basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter are some of the obstacles they face, yet these students have given their all to represent our school. They continue to strive for success both academically and in physical endeavors.
How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?
I plan on rewarding the students who achieve their goals. It is with this reward system that other students will be encouraged to participate and reach their goals also. Some of those rewards are shirts provided by Fuel Up to Play 60 and Marathon Kids. Documentation of miles run by students and rewarding them when they reach milestones throughout the year will keep the students engaged.
How did you accomplish your goals?
We had some outside help. The Westside Rotary Club provided free running shoes and socks for every single Running Club member. We also began a variety of after school activities like the Running Club, so our students could accomplish their goals.
What improvements have you seen at your school?
Our school has gone from being a low performing school to being a top school academically. Students have a sense of pride and accomplishment wearing their Fuel Up to Play 60 and Marathon Kids shirts to school. Participation numbers are increasing as the year rolls along.