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Are you (or your child’s school) looking for a way to help combat childhood obesity? If so, this month’s article has been written just for you; if not, you might be inspired to help! A youngster from Adair-Casey Elementary School came up with the idea of starting a mileage club in efforts to help with the impact of childhood obesity. This club has been running for three years and it has truly made a difference at their school!

Three days a week, kids are required to walk or run two laps around the track (around 1/8 mile) and then they have the option to continue on the track to compete for prizes or to finish their recess on the playground. Students who continue to walk receive “toe” tokens for each 2.5 miles they walk/run.  The kids are also asked to “autograph” a poster celebrating their success level achieved within the club (5, 10, 15, 26.2, 35, 50 miles and more).

Last year, every student reached the 10 mile club; and 8 students, two of which were in Kindergarten, reached 50 miles or higher! Each quarter, students who have reached one of the “mile markers” are invited to a Mileage Club party where they play games and have healthy snacks!

Teachers are reporting higher attention spans, less hassle on the playground and an increase in self-esteem for students who are able to celebrate their accomplishments.

This is a great learning experience for our students; they are learning how to set attainable goals and then in turn, they are able to experience their accomplishments when they meet those goals!” exclaimed Sheryl Richter, Mileage Club Coordinator.

Healthy lifelong habits are not just stumbled upon, they are learned. These habits are starting to turn into passions that these kids are continuing to explore in the Junior High/High School careers thru Cross Country. Over the last three years the Jr. High cross country team has doubled in size.

“Since we’ve started the Mileage Club, the students are so excited run/walk together during their recess. They are asking to run more and it makes the students feel good about themselves!”

To date, the students of Adair-Casey Elementary have walked/ran a total of 762 miles this year! For more information on how to get a mileage club started at your school, click here.