Corpus Christi ISD Makes Great Strides in Getting Kids Active

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!”

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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.