How a Morning Run Club Starts Students on the Right Foot
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School is an elementary school in Wichita, Kansas that enrolls over 250 students from kindergarten through sixth grade. The community of St. Catherine of Siena is an active one and is always looking for new ways to get moving and engage their youth in physical activities.
Christin Elson is the physical education teacher for St. Catherine of Siena. Physical activity has always been important to Mrs. Elson for multiple reasons. Besides the physical health benefits, she sees it as a crucial aspect for overall wellness including keeping her grounded.
Before discovering Marathon Kids, Mrs. Elson utilized different methods and programs to motivate her students to run and be active. Thanks to recommendations from colleagues on a physical education Facebook group, Mrs. Elson was first introduced to the Marathon Kids program. When she first incorporated Marathon Kids alongside her other running programs, she saw more excitement and motivation for running than ever before from her students.
Mrs. Elson is always looking for new and exciting ways to introduce physical activity and running into her students’ lives. In fact, in 2022 she experimented with a morning running club for the very first time. In this new club, students are able to come to school early to run until the school day starts.
Even though it’s only in its first year, the new running club has already been a success! Some of the more eager students arrive 25 minutes before school to start the day off with exercise and some arrive 5 minutes before school. To Mrs. Elson, it doesn’t matter when they arrive or how much time they spend running, what’s most important is that they are choosing to make physical activity and their health a priority.
Many students and even parents are very excited about this new morning addition to the school day and it has given students something to look forward to every morning.
With the Marathon Kids running program, Mrs. Elson’s students’ interest in running and physical activity flourished. This was largely due to the innovative fitness tracking and reporting functionality found in the Marathon Kids program. Mrs. Elson pulls running reports for her students daily to show them exactly how many miles they have completed - and seeing their progress helps the students stay motivated to keep running. By seeing their very own progress, they are able to create personal goals for what they want to accomplish next.
These consistent run reports help students stay in the know - something that has helped them create friendly competition between each other. After the implementation of fitness tracking, they love knowing how many laps until their next prize, how many miles they completed during a month, and what their overall progress looks like.
Prior to Marathon Kids, Mrs. Elson was doing as much progress and fitness tracking as possible through an excel spreadsheet, but the Marathon Kids program provided the technology she needed to automate the process and make it a breeze to track, monitor, and display to her students.
“It’s a couple clicks, and the report is pulled and many different types of reports can be pulled!”
Thanks to the QR-code runner ID cards Marathon Kids provides students with, they are also able to get their miles in outside of Mrs. Elson’s morning running program or P.E. class. Some students also take the time to get in as many laps in as they can during recess.
The Marathon Kids fitness tracking app is so simple to use that many classroom teachers are also easily able to record and submit students’ laps performed during recess to Mrs. Elson, ensuring every mile is accounted for.
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