Edith & Ethel Carman Elementary Students Start the Day on the Right Foot

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Edith & Ethel Carman Elementary Students Start the Day on the Right Foot

Edith & Ethel Carman Elementary is an elementary school located in San Juan, TX, enrolling over 600 students per year. Coach Martin Gow, physical education teacher at Edith & Ethel Carman Elementary, utilizes the Marathon Kids running program for his running club at the school, empowering students to embrace healthy lifestyles through running and physical activity. Coach Gow’s running club, now in its 8th year, has become a tradition for families and a beacon of positivity for the entire community.

Coach Gow describes his running club as fun but competitive and allows for all students, regardless of their physical ability, to participate and more importantly have fun. 

“(In the running club), students can walk and talk or run on their own. Everyone has a personal goal and they choose how to achieve it.”

Discovering Marathon Kids

Coach Gow first discovered the Marathon Kids running program at the TAHPERD Conference in 2015 and shortly after implemented the program at Edith & Ethel Carman Elementary. The program has grown year over year to become a popular school wide activity today.

Embracing a running program for the first time in schools can come with its fair share of challenges, including costs and the complexities of implementation. However, the Marathon Kids program is a completely free service and remarkably user-friendly experience, thanks to the integration of technology.

“We love the (Marathon Kids) app and how easy it is to use. Plus, it is free, what more can you ask for?”


A Cherished Tradition

The Marathon Kids program has been a staple at Edith & Ethel Carman Elementary for years and has evolved into a cherished tradition for families. Younger siblings eagerly await the day they can join the running club just like their older brothers and sisters in grades 3 - 5. 

“I believe change starts at an early age. If my students start exercising, walking, or playing sports at a young age, they will continue that later in life”.

The program's digital platform, accessible through an app, plays a crucial role in tracking the students' miles. Coach Gow utilizes iPads and scannable ID cards to record progress seamlessly. All recorded running data is synced with a dashboard that displays each students’ running stats over the course of the school year. 

To celebrate the participants' achievements, Coach Gow updates a leaderboard in the gym each year, showcasing the boy and girl with the most miles ran at the end of the school year. The school also has a bulletin board that recognizes students weekly for most miles, most improvement, and perfect attendance, motivating them to continue pushing their limits.

Starting the Family Morning Walk

Recently, Coach Gow introduced the "family morning walk" initiative, inviting parents and students from pre-K to 5th grade to start the day with a mile. The event was a resounding success with over 100 families joining in on the excitement. 

“Sometimes just walking one mile in the morning makes them feel good. How many students can say I started my day with a mile?”

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Every participating student was provided with a scannable Marathon Kids ID card so they could experience how the running club students track their progress and to build excitement for when they are able to join in the 3rd grade. 

For Coach Gow, the importance of physical activity goes beyond the school gates. He believes that early exposure to exercise and sports paves the way for a lifetime of fitness and well-being. The Marathon Kids program provides a fun yet competitive platform where students of all abilities can participate, setting personal goals and choosing their own path to success.

In the heart of Edith & Ethel Carman Elementary, Coach Gow and his physical activity initiatives including his running clubs and family morning walks are transforming lives one stride at a time. 

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