Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Marathon planned as inspiration

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 8/21/2013

RICHMOND — Getting students active isn’t always easy, but a new program at Central Heights aims to get students on the run ... or at least walking.

Central Heights is planning a School Marathon — a program for kindergarten through fifth grade — to help students reach 26.2 miles by walking for 30 minutes every day, Tyler Oestreicher said.

RICHMOND — Getting students active isn’t always easy, but a new program at Central Heights aims to get students on the run ... or at least walking.

Central Heights is planning a School Marathon — a program for kindergarten through fifth grade — to help students reach 26.2 miles by walking for 30 minutes every day, Tyler Oestreicher said.

“Daily physical activity is the main goal we’re striving for,” Oestreicher, elementary physical education teacher and member of the School Marathon committee at Central Heights, said. “It also gives kids the ability to achieve a lofty goal.”

School Marathon was started in Salina, he said, and helps children become active and stay that way. And it isn’t limited to students.

“If we can get as many staff members and as much support from the community as possible and make it a big hype and get the community and school involved, it will go very well,” Oestreicher said. “We’re trying to get all staff members involved with the kids when we go to run this every day.”

Students are expected to receive awards after reaching certain milestones, Amber Gonzalez said.

“After each five miles the kids will get a little foot for completing that,” Gonzalez, a member of the committee and a fifth grade teacher, said. “Once they’ve reach 26.2 miles, they get a medal, a certificate and a ‘triumph day’ to celebrate the accomplishment.”

Parents of those students in kindergarten through fifth grade already have been given information and signed waivers allowing students to participate, Gonzalez said.

The first day of the School Marathon is planned for Sept. 9, but a kick-off day is planned for Sept. 6, Oestreicher said.

“We’re going to have a pep assembly to let students know what were going to do,” Oestreicher said. “We’ll have music to get them excited and talk about how we’re going to do things and having teachers involved for them and give them the idea of what we’re going to do for ‘terrific Thursdays.’”

Terrific Thursdays will be a theme day, Sandee Meyer said, with a new theme taking place every Thursday.

“Some ideas are bring-your-pet day or it can be military involved as well as having local senior athlete and college athlete day, family day, KU, KSU day or white-and-blue day,” Meyer, school nurse and committee member, said. “Those are just some of the ideas we’ve been kicking around.”

On the last day of the School Marathon, students will have a “triumph day” to celebrate their achievement of reaching 26.2 miles, Meyer said.

“For triumph day we’re going to try and do more than what we’re going to do for the kick-off day,” Meyer said. “We’re going to bring in the community, have a finish line with lots of cheering and acknowledge this huge goal they’ve successfully completed and make them feel good about what they’ve been able to accomplish.”

A few local businesses have chipped in to help provide some of the awards the students will receive during their marathon completion, Meyer said.

“Ransom Memorial Hospital and Anderson County Hospital have given us monetary donations to help us provide awards to the students,” Meyer said. “Hasty Awards is helping us out as well by helping provide us the medals each student will get once they’ve completed the 26.2 miles, and we’re so grateful for everyone’s contributions.”

The marathon is planned before the end of the school day so it doesn’t disrupt students getting to the buses and parents picking up children, Oestreicher said.

“We’ll start around 2:30 p.m. and once the kids get going they’ll probably be done within 20 to 30 minutes and have 10 minutes to get stuff packed up and get ready to go and ready for the bus,” Oestreicher said. “We definitely wanted to make sure it was done during school time.”

The program ends after five or six weeks, Oestreicher said, but the goal is for students to continue being active even after they have reached their goal of 26.2 miles.

“We want to inspire parents and kids to do things once it’s over,” Oestreicher said. “We’re trying to promote more family-oriented stuff, so when they get home, rather than going home and sitting down and watching TV, they go for a walk or run together. Hopefully inspire new things for them to do.”

comments powered by Disqus