I first learned about The Walking Classroom at a conference I attended. Although intrigued, I knew my school could not afford to participate. A rural school located in North Carolina, we have 70% of our students on free and reduced lunch.
With the low socio-economic status of our students, most of our funding goes to supply them with necessities. This includes things like book bags, school supplies, clothing, and personal hygiene items. Allocating money for this type of program seemed out of the question.
I must admit that I had additional motivation to find a way to bring The Walking Classroom to our school. My own daughter attends fourth grade here, and we are both overweight. With a busy lifestyle, involved in the community, church, scouting, and such . . . exercise takes low priority.
When I received news that we had been awarded a set of materials, I was excited! Then, when I found out they would include BOTH fourth and fifth grade curriculums, I was elated!
I could instantly see the potential benefits of this program! My daughter and her friends don’t get the opportunity to get outside during the instructional day because of all that needs to be taught. Now, thanks to The Walking Classroom, she and her peers can get the exercise they desperately need, learn a healthier lifestyle, AND still meet state learning objectives.
As soon as school began, I brought in both grade levels. First, I presented the program to the teachers. Later, I presented it to the students. Once I began talking to the kids about being healthier, it really started to hit home with me as well. Each time the kids have gone out, I have tried to go with them. I want to show them that you can start making changes for a healthier lifestyle at any age!
My biggest accomplishment right now? Giving up soft drinks! I previously would drink three to four sodas a day. Now, I have not had a single one since September 1, 2018.
I really try to be a role model for the kids. I make sure I drink water all the time, and I walk just as fast and long as they do! In addition, I love to nerd out and discover more about the topics in the podcasts right along with them. With The Walking Classroom, we have learned so much cool information!
Thank you . . . for inspiring me to be healthier AND for changing the lives of 120 kids!
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