Sponsored by CNC Software, Inc. and Nerac.com
Story by Carol Goodrow, Photos by Wesley Eaton
Celebrate with Physical Activity!
June 5, 2004
THE LAST SESSION
Ten weeks have come and gone quickly. The routines are finally set. The kids enter the room and make their name tags, even though I've finally learned their names. They bombard me with healthy snacks wanting to fill in our bulletin board chart, but our goal has been met and there are no free squares to illustrate. They are a little disappointed but not for long. There's too much to do today, so they forget quickly. We have personal healthy food charts to complete and "yellow ribbons" to receive.
ON THEIR OWN
We head out to the field. We know that we'll be running a 1-K later, but it's a nice day and we feel like running now. We do 2-5 laps at our own pace. Everyone is on their own. Most run and walk easily. We visit our trail for one last time. If we are really quiet there are bullfrogs to be heard, with their deep and twangy voices. One club session is noisy, the other tiptoes quietly around the pond at the bottom of the trail, but all the kids have fun.
IN THE CLASSROOM
We head back to the classroom and hurry to finish our work. We record our physical activity, complete our time tracker, draw healthy snacks in our healthy food 9-squares, and make little drawings in the creative corner. Then we close our Happy Feet, Healthy Food books. The books will all be going home to be used with parents every day to record healthy habits and activities.
The parents start arriving early. I ask them, "Are you going to the fun run?" and most answer, "Of course!" Parents , grandparents, siblings, and pets are ready to run.
THE FUN RUN
I'm the last to arrive, but everyone waits for me. We find the trail. It's a mini rail trail surrounding the fields, and entering the woods on the CNC Software, Inc. grounds. One of the parents calls it the town's best kept secret. Everyone is ready to run, even though they've been running around for the last half hour waiting for me to arrive. The endorphins have set in and the kids could probably run 5 miles!
Photo by Jackie Thompson
It's the very end. I'm happy to see the families together. I run myself. I see a child walking and I say, "Run with me a little, " and she does, but I'm too excited to stay where I am so I run to another and say the same.
Then I see John. I was his guide runner. He's walking with his dad. I say, "John do you want to run with me?" and he says, "YES!" and he takes my wrist and we run. We enter the woods.
I say, "There's a bridge with no rails coming John. Hold on tight and run with me," and he does. It's exciting and fun. We come to the end and a mom is handing out awards - little smile face pins. The kids choose their colors and eat a fruit pop. Every child comes to me one-by-one to say, "Thank you!"
I thank the parents for bringing their kids, my sponsors for enabling me to have the club, and the kids, themselves, for working so hard. Then, I'm ready to put this after-school spring club away for another year, but before I can catch my breath, I'm asked to hold a club in the fall. The question is my bouquet of roses, in words, and in deed. I think for a second and say, "Yes." It's a chance to grow and a gift that will be shared with many. At the end of my run, I'm filled with a warm feeling.
Happy Feet, Healthy Food, Your Child's First Journal of Exercise and Healthy Eating
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