Focusing On Athletics: How ICEF Schools Walk The Walk In Inglewood

“Goal-setting,” “challenge,” “motivation,” “stronger,” healthier,” and “discovering a new athletic capability” are some of the new words used by Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) staff, students, parents, teachers and Principals this year. This Marathon Kids season, two ICEF schools, based in Inglewood, CA, partnered up with Marathon Kids to instill a joy for running in their students. ICEF focuses on college readiness by way of a 3 A’s approach in academics, arts and athletics. It’s clear based on their Marathon Kids success that ICEF “walks the walk” in their approach to creating an environment focused on athletic achievement and physical activity.

Two ICEF teachers set out at the beginning of the school year to lead their kids on a journey to complete 104.8 miles in the Marathon Kids program – a feat many adults haven’t accomplished! Sarah Jimenez, from ICEF Inglewood Academy had 21 runners. All of her runners hit their first marathon goal and many are still running on their journey to complete their second, third and fourth marathons. Sharrol Garcia, from ICEF Innovation had 96 students in her Marathon Kids program. She’s seen improvements in behavior and participation, and notes that most importantly, resilience as a key indicator of student achievement has improved.

Here are some words that Coaches, Principals, parents and students had to share about their participation in Marathon Kids at ICEF schools this year.

“Marathon Kids has made amazing progress this year. 7 year olds have been able to accomplish goals that people usually don’t ever complete in their adulthood! The students are taught to make short-term (2 miles-twice a week) and long-term goals for the year (complete an entire marathon – 26.2 miles). Regardless of the setbacks such as cancellations due to the rain, students always want to meet their goal. Some students wear their pedometers during their recess time, and others get to take it home. Every time they open their pedometer and see the amount of steps they’ve taken, they become even more so motivated to achieve their goals. I am amazed at what these 7 and 8 year olds have accomplished and how they are driven to do their best”. -Sarah Jimenez, Inglewood Elm. Physical Education teacher

“Marathon Kids has had such a positive impact on our scholars.  They are excited about exercising and being healthy.  They often share with staff members and their classmates how far they’ve run.  It’s so great to see our scholars motivated to reach their goal and maintain healthy habits!” -Ms. Lincoln, Inglewood Elm. Principal

“I signed up my son Manuel to Marathon Kids because he wasn’t getting any extra physical activity. He was tired the first few weeks after practice, but then he became really passionate about it. He would tell me after class how many miles he had done, and how many more he had to finish each marathon. He is in love with Marathon Kids!” -Maria, Inglewood Elm. parent

“Marathon Kids has made a tremendous impact on my students this year. My students not only enjoy being in the club, but they are eager to reach and surpass their running goals as well. Marathon Kids has given my students something to look forward to after school and has provided them with a fun, healthy outlet. I know they have truly enjoyed being a part of it! Thank you Coach Sarah for all your hard work and dedication to this program!” -Ms. Dancosse, Inglewood Elm teacher

“I liked it when I finished my first marathon. I like it when we play fun games like freeze tag, and when we run track and field on goNoodle. I liked being athlete of the week and getting my Athlete of the Week certificate and bracelet. I like how when we get hurt Ms. Sarah gives us an ice pack or band aid and takes care of us.” -Darryon, 2nd Grade, Inglewood Elm. student

“Throughout our school’s participation in Marathon Kids, we have been encouraging students to make good choices in their interactions with others, as well as realize how their actions can affect others in positive ways. Building character is an important skill that they learn through the running club. They also experience first-hand the love and support from friends and family as a result of being a part of the club. Our children have truly experienced something special this year and have developed into more confident, more active and healthier students!”. -Sharrol Garcia, ICEF Innovation Physical Education teacher

“The Marathon Kids program has improved student engagement and awareness of being healthy and physically active. We are excited to see our kids active and inspired to be physically fit” -Mr. Lemle, ICEF Innovation Principal

“Marathon Kids is fun. I have fun and made lots of friends and love running. It’s my new favorite thing!” -Nia, ICEF Innovation student

Have a story about how your running club has created change in your community? Let us know by emailing


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.