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Depending on where you live, summer vacation is either here, or just around the corner. Are you excited, nervous, or maybe a little of both? Whether you’re filled with glee or dread at the prospect of your children being out of school for the next few months, Marathon Kids has got you covered. We want you to rest assured that this does not have to be a long, hot summer of battling with your kids over screen time. Quite to the contrary, it can be a fun, active summer of connecting with the people you love most in the world. How? By taking the Walk and Talk challenge, free for all ages and fun for the whole family.

Free Summer Program

Families across the country are registering to Walk and Talk with their kids — committing to creating a happy, active and interactive summer as a family. Research shows that kids are more likely to connect with their parents when they’re engaged in activities together, whether it’s cooking, doing artwork together, or taking a walk around the neighborhood. There’s just something about getting the body and the brain engaged at the same time that breaks down communication barriers and eases the way to opening up.

When parents sign up for Walk and Talk with their children, they are signing up for a summer of getting their bodies moving alongside their kids ­— building healthier habits together, and getting to know each other better along the way.

Here’s How It Works!

When parents and children register for Walk and Talk, they commit to walking one mile at a time together. When you Walk and Talk with your child, you set your own schedule, which means you can take your walks at any point in the week and at any time of day that works for your family, whether that’s first thing in the morning, after lunch or before bedtime; on weekday evenings or weekend mornings; or anytime that is a good time for you and your child to get outside and walk a few blocks together.

Oh, and by the way, you don’t have to walk outside! We get it — summer is hot, by definition, and any miles you cover count toward your goal, whether you log them inside or out. You can choose to stay cool while walking indoors the local mall, by heading to your local rec center, or find another way to make it work for you and your family.

That’s how the walk portion of the program works; what about the talking? We provide you with daily topics to discuss, as well as a mileage log to keep track of your progress — all free with this free-of-charge program. There are 26 conversation starters total, one for each mile you’ll walk together this summer. By the time summer comes to an end, you and your child will have walked a full marathon together — a total of 26.2 miles — and you’ll have gotten to know each other a little better along the way.

Free resources, including our mileage log and conversation starters, are available for download now. Click here to register today!

It Truly Takes A Village!

We’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to all of our wonderful Walk and Talk sponsors and content partners! Without the generosity and support of these incredible businesses, organizations, and individuals, we couldn’t do what we do at Marathon Kids — and they are so very appreciated:

>H-E-B

>MedSpring Urgent Care

>Half Price Books

>Athletes for Hope

>Active Schools

>It’s Time Texas

>Get Grounded with Kerry Foreman

>¿Que Means What?

>Firewheel Communications

>Christine Burke, Keeper of the Fruit Loops

We look forward to helping you and your family connect and continue to build healthy habits together this summer!

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Corpus Christi ISD (CCISD) is on a mission to get kids active and healthy. Located in the Coastal Bend of Texas, Corpus Christi has a high prevalence of chronic disease, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and asthma. To provide a brighter future for his students, Richard Torres, CCISD Specialist for Health & Physical Education, has taken action with the district’s health plan, making youth physical activity a priority.

Since the 2016-17 season, CCISD has steadily increased its investment in Marathon Kids, to get elementary and middle school students moving both during and after the school day. In the past three years, there have been 9,091 total runners in 163 Marathon Kids run clubs. During that time, CCISD has invested $28,798 in keeping Marathon Kids in the schools, and Marathon Kids has come alongside the district in awarding a total of $136,365 in grant funding. Thanks to the efforts of Richard Torres, and the amazing coaches in the district, we have created a solid partnership and are hoping for 4,000 runners in CCISD next season.

Baker Middle School

Coach Laura Brennan pushes her middle school runners to be the best, encouraging them to run three miles during run club sessions. Her coaching has cultivated some of the best runners in the state for this age group. “We’ve been doing Marathon Kids here at Baker Middle School for about three years,” says Coach Brennan. “I really like it a lot because I noticed the kids coming in from fifth grade, it gives them something to look forward to as sixth graders in a new, big school, with the older kids.”

Windsor Park Elementary

Coach Rhonda Vela has strong implementation of Marathon Kids at Windsor Park. This is a gifted and talented school, where students are committed to both their academic and athletic pursuits. Each participant completed the Marathon Kids program (104.8 miles) this season, and this school also boasts some of the best runners in the state. One Windsor Park Elementary runner recently won a 10K in the middle school age group.

Zachary Kolda Elementary

Coach Cristina Arrisola is coaching Marathon Kids for the fourth year in a row at Kolda Elementary. The school has a strong running culture and Coach Arrisola ensures her students are organized, with warm-ups and cool downs.

“This is my fourth year doing the program and I really enjoy seeing the kids get healthier,” says Coach Arrisola. “I decided to coach because every student should be able to feel they belong to something better in life. Running puts things into a positive state of mind. To see the kids who said to me, ‘I don’t run Coach, but I will try my best,’ and to see their face light up when he/she reaches a marathon goal, is priceless.”

3rd grade girls in the Zachary Kolda Elementary School Running Club

After attending Marathon Kids’ Leadership Academy, Coach Arrisola challenged herself to start another run club. This season, she got kids at Kassie Middle School running, too. She now coaches 6th grade boys and girls, and takes them to community runs.

Kassie Middle School runners

“I like Marathon Kids because it pushes me harder to get more miles and I get faster,” says Jaidan, a 6th grader. “I see really big improvements in people because of Marathon Kids. Whenever someone completes their marathon, they get a big smile on their face because they finally did it! I do the same, too! When I see people, they run really fast ’cause they want their marathon to be done. Another reason I like Marathon Kids is because whenever I go out, people know I completed my marathon and then I see they completed a marathon, too. This is why I like Marathon Kids and it should be our running club forever!”

Want to bring Marathon Kids to your district? Share this story with your school and district leaders! For more information, contact us at programs@marathonkids.org.

ABOUT MARATHON KIDS

Marathon Kids is on a mission to get kids moving. The nonprofit organization offers free physical education programming through Marathon Kids Connect, a cloud-based PE and run club management platform that includes a mobile app for digital activity-tracking.