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Warner Morning Walkers

By
Emily Best,   Hattie C Warner Elementary School
Play:
Walk this Way — Start a Walking Club
Topics:
Physical Activity Participation
Warner Morning Walkers
There is a group of teachers who watch kids in the morning who do not eat breakfast. We had them sitting in the gym from 7:30-7:50 AM each morning. As the PE teacher, I was really worried about all the sitting around. I am always telling kids that exercise can be fun if you just do the basics and walk and talk. It is always way more fun with a buddy. We let the kids choose if they want to walk or sit each day. On Wednesdays we have Walking Wednesday and everyone is required to walk that day. It is great for kids to start their morning off right with some movement. We love to see who is walking and talking with each other. It is neat to see some unlikely pairs form. It is also heartwarming to watch the big kids want to buddy up with a 1st grader. We cut down on behavior issues during this time. This is a great opportunity for kids to be social and to get their day started off right as they burn off some energy.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

Not only do we have students that come in and walk for the 20 minutes, but teachers join us as well. It started out as just students, then they were telling their classroom teachers all about our morning walking and before you know it, they were begging teachers to come in and walk with them. Once this started, the teachers would make an effort to stop by and walk a few laps with our kids. They loved it.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

Lots of teachers are commenting on how their kiddos are coming in ready to start learning. The movement that kids were doing before school was really turning into our morning process. Students were getting to be social and burn calories at the same time. This social time is also important to our school as I don't feel they actually get enough social time during the day.

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

One challenge was the fact that we had all grade levels in here. That was a wide range of kids in here and some of them are tiny. We encouraged our 5th grade walkers to buddy up with a younger student. It is adorable to see them walking and talking hand in hand.