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One Footstep at a Time Equals a Huge "Feat" for Thorson Elementary Students

Patty Kestell,   Thorson El
Physical Activity Participation, Student Leadership,  Teamwork
	One Footstep at a Time Equals a Huge "Feat" for Thorson Elementary Students
Thorson Elementary School’s FUTP 60 Student Wellness Team set out to get kids moving this fall by starting the Thorson Walking Club. Our FUTP 60 team went all out to promote the Walking Club to our whole school. They kicked off and announced the Walking Club at our Monday morning Jaguar Jump Start meeting and created and hung clever posters throughout school to remind students about the Road to the Super Bowl 550 mile goal and other details of our walking club. They submitted information about the Walking Club in the weekly Thursday folder for parents to see, and promoted it during Physical Education classes to their peers. Every Monday at our JJS meeting, several FUTP 60 students shared our weekly total to help students stay motivated and excited about our progress. Several FUTP60 students created a “mileage meter” for our FUTP60 Bulletin Board to help students track how far we had walked each week. They also created two pocket envelopes for my PE office door, one for students to drop off their completed mileage tracker and one for new trackers, so that students could keep tracking their miles at school throughout the school week. Our FUTP 60 team counted miles on the mileage trackers and updated the mileage meter each week. For every mile completed in the Walking Club, students received one sneaker token from Fitness Finders to add to a chain. Students loved completing their mileage cards and earning new sneakers to add to their collection. Our school completed over 800 miles in 1 1/2-2 months! This was a great FUTP60 Play to help give students an alternative activity to do at recess during the day, and gave our FUTP 60 students a great opportunity to develop their leadership skills!

How did students and adults work together as a team?

My students worked out the details for promoting the Walking Club and divided up the responsibilities. Some had a chance to create posters, the mileage meter and envelopes for my office door, and some spoke at our Monday morning assembly or to their peers during PE class. Once the Walking Club got started, students tabulated the mileage from the mileage trackers and updated the mileage meter. Each week, several FUTP 60 students updated the whole school on how many miles we had walked.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

We have plenty of sneakers left over to start up the Walking Club up again in spring. The great part about the Walking Club is that the students will know how it works, and we can establish new goals, and different incentives for each round of Walking Club we promote in the future. Once the sneakers run out, I will approach our PTO to see if they will help support our Walking Club as well.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

The Walking Club helped provide an alternative activity for students to participate in before school, during recesses, and after school in the after school YMCA program. Several paraprofessionals and recess supervisors shared that special needs students had a chance to participate in something meaningful and motivating to them, which made this even more worthwhile. Someone drew a beautiful caricature of a child near the track with sidewalk chalk, encouraging kids to join our Walking Club!