1/25/14 Andrews Elementary School’s 100-MILE CLUB

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The cold weather didn’t stop students at Andrews Elementary School in Burlington from racing toward their 100-mile goal during recess Friday afternoon.

Scott Muthersbaugh / Times-News

The cold weather didn’t stop students at Andrews Elementary School in Burlington from racing toward their 100-mile goal during recess Friday afternoon.

Andrews Elementary School’s 100-MILE CLUB
Students hit milestones, win prizes through Active Schools grant
By Isaac Groves The Times-News 1/25/14  
Reprinted with permission.


   More than 100 fifth-graders — the whole fifth grade at R. Homer Andrews Elementary School — were walking laps just before school let out Friday. Some were running with hoods up and scarves flapping.

   “I like it,” said Tamyuia White, 10. “You get to walk laps with your friends and talk while you’re walking. “And you get exercise out of it.”

At the end of every lap of the dirt track, they crowded around several black plastic baskets to grab a popsicle stick. Fourteen sticks make a mile; 100 miles, or 1,400 sticks, is the goal.

   The 100-mile club got started in October, said Todd Traumuller, Andrew’s physical education teacher.

   Weather has slowed the students’ progress, but the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders try to walk at least two recesses a week, and more for the students who really want to hit the mark.

   The club started with Liz Bailey, who teaches in the Health and Human Performance Department at Elon University.

   Bailey helped the school get a $1,000 grant from the Active Schools Acceleration Project of Tufts University’s Child Obesity 180, which works with first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Active Schools.

   The money, Traumuller said, is to buy prizes for hitting milestones. With some students getting close to 25 miles, he is looking at buying some bracelets with the school’s roadrunner mascot.

   That may be why one boy runs and jumps around the track shouting, “I found a stick, I found a stick!”

   Recess outside is nothing new, of course, but a lot of students would hang out and talk to their friends if left to their own devices, Traumuller said. So teachers ask them to walk a couple times a week, and the goal spurs them on.

   The idea is to give them more than a little exercise, but also an understanding of how important it is to health.

   As the time came for dismissal, students crowded around their teachers to get their sticks tallied.

   Fifth-grade teacher Jen Owen said her students did pretty well.

   “A lot of times when we’re out, they will go for the full mile,” Owens said. “Some of mine got a mile and a half.”