Building Community Around Physical Activity
By Catherine Morris
There is a documented, widespread, and advancing trend of inactivity among American children. Marathon Kids is focused on reversing that trend with innovative technology and proven solutions that support the Whole Child, but also the Whole School and Whole Community.
Put simply, kids are meant to be active—as are people of all ages. That’s why our structured program equips kids, coaches, and families to build a community around physical activity, and live healthier and more active lives together. Our programming prioritizes six evidence-based pillars that guide healthy long-term behavior adoption. Kids need a positive adult modeling healthy behavior to help increase the likelihood of them staying active into adulthood. Young people want to feel a part of a team and be included. Marathon Kids encourage our coaches to motivate kids to move at their pace, learn the concept of conquering small goals to reach big goals, and to celebrate milestones.
Marathon Kids Helps Track Running in PE
The Marathon Kids digital platform is used to track kids’ physical activity. It’s customizable and flexible to meet the needs of programs across the United States. It allows coaches to set the lap distances of their track space, utilize heart-pumping activities to count toward mileage, and look at data in various ways to help celebrate participant milestones. For Miguel Maldonado, a San Antonio PE teacher and Marathon Kids coach, “I was very impressed with what it had to offer,” Maldonado recalls. “It’s easy to use, set up and get data from.”
Maldonado likes that the information is synced together, when you scan runner ID cards the effort captured credits each participant and then updates their data. He loves marveling with his colleague over their kids’ cumulative mileage at the end of a running session: “Hey look, our kids just ran two or three marathons! Seventy-nine kids running a mile each really adds up!”
Reporting and Celebrating Milestones
Coaches like Maldonado can utilize the platform’s reporting feature to keep participants updated, build a growth mindset and grow community around physical activity. Maldonado says, “The reports really help motivate the kids to run more.” Being able to check the data for their own mileage, but also the total mileage of their class and grade, intrinsically motivates them. The data collected by the platform and the reporting feature can be used to demonstrate active minutes are being met for state physical activity requirements. As well as view participants, classes and grade levels mileage totals and create leaderboards so the entire school can follow their rankings and progress.
What is essential for an all-inclusive environment that builds community around physical activity is to create an awareness that every lap counts towards one goal. Students' individual mileage not only counts towards their own personal goals, but each individual contributes to their classroom and grade level mileage totals. Students should be encouraged and celebrated. The school is progressing towards its overall goals while having fun and being active.
The Marathon Kids digital platform offers six reports and a real-time impact dashboard. The reports have filters that allow coaches to create challenges within a date range, capture mileage for a special event or specific track/activity, and use data to support their program. The impact dashboard provides insights and data just by simply logging in to view. Coach Maldonado uses the Achievement Report that allows him to reward and celebrate their milestones—another great way to boost their drive to keep unlocking their potential, one mile at a time.
As a nonprofit, Marathon Kids provides these tools and resources for FREE to schools and communities. Ready to create an account? Start running with us today!
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