California Educator

March 2015

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I D I D N ' T R E A L LY K N O W what I was doing when I started my students running at Hoover Ele- mentary. I decided I could learn along the way. In March 2012 I heard about a running program at another elementary and decided to try one with my students. PE coach David Contreras and I established a mile perimeter on our field. How Hoover Elementary 'Run 4 Fun' Club was born P H O T O B Y M O N A D A V I D S O N Participating students were given an index card. As they passed each lap, they were given a checkmark, a different color for each day. The checkmarks were counted; the tallies were recorded on a spreadsheet. This process was very labor-intensive. By the end of 2012, roughly 250 students had logged 1,500 miles and were recognized at our end-of-year assem- bly. Our top runner ran 75 miles. The next year, I knew that manually tracking laps was not going to work. I found StrideTrack, which allows us to track data for any given student, class and school, thus allowing me to print reports for teachers so students stay informed of their progress. Students can also track their progress via the Internet. Each student is given a card printed with a bar code, and the card is read by a handheld scanner every time they complete a lap. We used a display case and PA announcements to encourage runners. Students earned small plastic charms for every five miles accumulated. So in 2013-14: • Roughly 50 percent of our students, the highest number in many years, passed the physical fitness test. Our coach said maybe four students passed it when he first got to Hoover eight years ago. • Some kindergarten teachers also got on board last year. For recognitions and awards, kindergartners earned two miles for every mile run. This gave them the chance to run and earn awards like the older students. We even had two kindergartners reach 100 miles because of laps before school with a parent or sibling. • We also had students from the Indio High School track and field team run laps with our students. We ran 6,500 miles, which surpassed our mileage from the previous year by 400 percent, and it blew past anything I could have expected. Approxi- mately 300 students took part. This year, we are at 6,030 miles as of Friday, Jan. 9. What makes this year different? • 100 percent support from an amazing staff. • First- and second-graders eagerly volunteer to hold the scanners. I tell them to run a lap first, so they race around the field to make sure they get to an available scanner before the other students. • Teachers borrow scanners and log the times they walk with their stu- dents, which count for PE minutes. • Families are getting involved and logging laps with their kids. Recently, on a quiet Friday afternoon, a second-grader showed up with his mom. She said, "He told me I had to come out and walk with him." He grabbed his card, and off they went. It was an amazing feeling, as I watched this young man, normally full of energy, quietly walk the track with his mom, holding hands. I wished there were more parents on the track enjoying a quiet moment with their children. Ultimately, it is not about the mileage. We want students to have a love for walking, running and being healthy. I hope it becomes a natural part of their lifestyle as they get older. I want to help them understand the tie between academics and being healthy. Trisha Schoenfeld, Desert Sands Teachers Association, teaches fifth grade at Hoover Elementary in Indio. This is an abridged version of Trisha's step-by- step process. Go to for the full story! By Patricia Borer Schoenfeld Know & Tell Resources 17 V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 7

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