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Walking for Our Veterans

Mike Worley,   Lincoln School
Physical Activity Participation

The Student Leadership Team at Lincoln Elementary School in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, created a walking trip challenge for all students and staff for this year. To honor our country’s military veterans, they decided to walk laps on our school track to equal the distance from Sault Ste. Marie to Annapolis, Maryland, home of the U.S. Naval Academy. They then ventured west on a coast-to-coast journey to Seattle, Washington, with a return trip back to Sault Ste. Marie. The total distance was 5,753.7 miles and was expected to be complete by May, 2017. The enthusiasm of the students and teachers pushed the completion date up to February 15, 2017. A challenge between the Kindergarten, First and Second grades versus the Third, Fourth and Fifth grades fueled the competition. Kindergarten, First and Second grades won by walking 11,524 laps, compared to the Third, Fourth and Fifth grade’s 11,481 laps, a difference of 8.3 miles. With more than three months left in the school year, we decided to begin walking trip number two (heading to Dallas, Texas and back) for a distance of 2,804.4 miles. When completed, Lincoln Elementary School Falcons will have walked 8,558.1 miles in honor of our military veterans. Great job, Falcons! Photos will not be available until April 3. We will attempt to forward them to you on that date.

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

This activity has generated a lot of enthusiasm, as students can see their progress charted on a large map of the United States. They have become accustomed to walking laps on the school track at the beginning of their recess periods. We plan to continue a walking challenge every year, as students have responded so favorably. We chose walking because it is affordable, everyone can participate, it is a lifelong exercise option, and it promotes the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative.