Adena Elementary recently started a running club to help promote a healthy lifestyle and provide students the opportunity to get plenty of exercise. In addition to the physical benefits, there have been other advantages to the program, according to Principal Jodi Leichman.
“We’ve noticed that many of the students like to run together with their friends and there is a lot of encouraging and support,” she states. “As some students get tired, their classmates and even students in other grades are cheering them to keep going. It’s building a sense of community and inclusion.”
The club “meets” during recess, when second-, third- and fourth-graders opt to run laps around a designated area. “Instead of students viewing this as giving up their recess, they actually are excited to participate and enjoy tracking their progress,” adds Leichman.
In fact, more than 275 students have participated in some capacity thus far this year. For every five miles a student completes, he or she receives a token for the school’s upcoming festival. The goal is for students to achieve 25 miles at the school and then participate in the one-mile “fun run” during the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.
The school’s PTO assists by providing adult monitors during the Thursday sessions, as well as water to keep the students hydrated. Many of the PTO members also run with students, sharing tips on running style and encouraging students to complete their personal best.
Leichman adds, “For many of our students, this is a tangible way for them to understand how their effort ties to their achievement. They are proud of what they are accomplishing and we’re seeing them apply such learnings to the classroom.”