Mile Mondays is an after school/recess running program designed by myself, Jennifer Ham, a young and fairly new physical education teacher who wanted more for her students and their health. The purpose of the program is that students are not getting the exercise they need just in Physical Education class alone. This program is designed to encourage kids to use time during their recess and after school (only once a week for the entire school year) to run or walk a mile (or more). Another reason why this program is being implemented is because students are tested at the end of the school year for how well they can perform at running a long distance run in the presidential physical fitness testing (that is nation wide). Many students struggle with this event, therefore, by offering my students the opportunity to perform in this event throughout the school year; my hope is that the testing outcomes will greatly improve. Unfortunately, my students are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to this testing. Sadly, many students that should be capable of receiving such a prestigious award (Presidential or National awards) never do because our students only have physical education 2 or 3 times a week for 40 minutes with only a 20 minute lunch recess daily. Another limitation is that being from Colorado the weather doesn't always participate and sometimes students don't get to go outside for recess. With these limitations existing it is extremely hard for my students to compete with students across the nation, even though we try. In addition, I want my students to have the time to practice for this event that way they will have confidence in their abilities when it is time to test their running.
This program has many benefits for all children. The first and most important purpose is to encourage my students to be healthy. We do talk about the ways to stay healthy and how to eat healthy in class, but unfortunately, it is still not enough to motivate the students to be healthy outside of school. When asked to work out on their own at home, most students are not able to for many personal reasons. Therefore, I felt that I could provide the students with my time during their recess and after school to increase their time of physical activity.
Each student has a mileage club card and every time they complete a mile I hole punch the number. When a card is completed the students are rewarded with small prizes. I have been looking for donations for these prizes, but I have not been as successful as I want to be so I am paying for these prizes on my own and having my own fundraising ideas. I believe in this program and I know that many students and parents do too. It was actually a parent of a student who participates in Mile Mondays that told me about this grant.