For the past five years, Stony Point North Elementary School has created an exciting, activity centered around improving the physical fitness level of our students and adults in our school district called the “Race Across America!
This activity focuses primarily on our 4th and 5th grade students but we have also included the teachers and staff members from Stony Point North and we have also included adults from our entire school district participating with us in our physical fitness walking activity. Our Superintendent of our school district, the Assistant Superintendent, school board members, district executive directors, teachers from around our district, as well at the Mayor of our city have continued to particpate with us in this fun, friendly, and competitive activity.
The “Race Across America” takes place over five months of our school year for each of the past five years. This event has been a great activity that encourages wellness and physical fitness for both students and staff.
Our students receive pedometers for the school year to wear everyday, all day. Not only are they monitoring their daily physical activity levels at school, but they are also tracking the amount of daily activities away from school, for each afternoon, evening, as well as on the weekends. Students then report the miles from their pedometers in their PE classes where totals are kept on spreadsheets.
Our goal for our students has been to monitor our increase in daily physical activity through the use of pedometers to assist in fighting childhood obesity. The goals for our staff are to assist our focus on improving our overall wellness, increase our energy levels, and help in monitoring weight gain.
For our “Race Across America” we have continued to have teams of students and staff members from Stony Point North as well as teams from the KCK District staff at our Central Office and staff around the KCK district. The involvement of the KCK district teams provides additional significance and motivation for our students at Stony Point North.
All participants will wear pedometers or fitness trackers and focus on their physical fitness each day by being aware of their walking totals. It is a goal of all students and staff members to strive to walk at least 10,000 steps a day which converts to 5 miles a day!
Participants from our district office are always welcome to visit Stony Point North but they do not have to come to our school to walk with us. Walking, running, and working out can be done wherever participants choose and then their miles are emailed to our “Team Recorders”.
Twice a month, all participants will report their total miles walked (not steps) to their “Team Recorder”. After miles have been reported, the progress of each team will be tracked on a large map of the United States on a bulletin board at Stony Point North.
We will identify each team’s progress by moving their “Team Flag” across our course on the map. For the students, we post the TOP Student miles on the bulletin board as recognition for students and also for motivating other students to have their progress highlighted. For the adults, we will also email the “Current Team Standings” throughout each race and also list our “Top Individual Walkers” (participants in the "400 Mile Club", the "300 Mile Club" “200 Mile Club”, etc.)
The "Race Across America" has been a very succesful activity in motivating our students to participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day!
Studies have shown that an exercise program that includes a walking or running component can improve wellness levels and reduce the risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke and also result in weight loss. This has also been an excellent activity that can prevent the trend of childhood obesity for our students.