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Section Elementary Students are Walking towards Success!

Mickey Neumann,   Section El
Physical Activity Participation
Section Elementary Students are Walking towards Success!
This past October, Section Elementary started their first ever Walking Club. The Walking Club took place during lunch recess on rotating days during the week. Each time the students participated, they would earn a token for their chain. The students would walk on Hawks Trail, a  one quarter mile track around our playground. At the end of each Walking Club, the class mile recorder would record the students’ laps on a class roster and turn it back into me to compile the laps and convert it to miles walked. By the end of January, the students at Section Elementary had walked over 1,400 miles. That meant that the students at Section walked to and from the Superbowl just over two times. Each week the participation number continued to increase. The club was supervised by parents in our school who would volunteer their time during the lunch hour. These volunteers would supervise the trail and hand out tokens when the students' lunch recess was over. All in all, I feel as though the Walking Club was a huge success. By increasing physical activity and minimizing behavior issues at recess, the Walking Club allows for kids at any level to get their heart rate up and make new friends. I look forward to continuing the club next year and in the years to come.

How did you accomplish your goals?

This goal was accomplished through a grant that I won in the Spring of 2017. The Sustainable School Wellness Initiative grant through KOHLS HEALTHY FAMILIES helped fund the walking club tokens. I feel that the toe tokens the students earned each time they participated were a huge ‘buy in’, especially from the younger students who would ‘show off’ their tokens on their chains.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

One of the earlier challenges that the Walking Club faced was not having enough volunteers to sign up for the club. However, after I went to a Parent Teacher Group meeting, explained what the club was and met with the school’s volunteer coordinator, I didn’t have any problems finding volunteers to help run the program.

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

I plan to make this Walking Club program work beyond its first year with other mini grants I am writing to continue to fund the tokens. In addition, I would love to expand the token program to include healthy eating and allowing the students to earn healthy food tokens to add to their chain for healthy eating. Not sure on the logistics on how that would work, but my food service lady in the kitchen is a huge proponent of FUTP 60 and will help out whenever she can.