As New York City Marathoners are still recovering from their 26.2 miles, the Manorhaven School’s “Manorhaven Milers” came out to participate in their own “marathon,” the “Manorhaven Fun Run” where over 200 third, fourth and fifth grade students showed their running prowess with their peers.
Now in it’s fourth year, the Manorhaven annual Fun Run tries to encourage physical fitness among its upper grade students, getting kids excited about running and spur some healthy competition between friends.
The Fun Run was conducted in the early morning to get the kids moving and their active juices flowing. The children all received and wore vibrant, orange colored t-shirts and started with a quick warm-up led by Megaera Regan, the physical education teacher at Manorhaven.
The grades ran separately, each for ten minutes and though it wasn’t an actual race, some students were claiming they crossed the finish line first.
Many parents were on hand to hand out water to the tired “Milers” and cheer them on. Afterwards, orange slices were available to refresh the runners before returning to classes, their minds clear and ready to learn.
“Seeing the children get excited about running and fitness in general tells us the program is working,” said physical education teacher Regan. “Studies show children are more alert and focused when they do just 20 minutes of physical activity before they start learning, so we are committed to providing our students with a program that can help achieve this.”
The Manorhaven run was made possible by ING as the Manorhaven School is one of 59 recipients from 26 states across the U.S. to receive the ING Run for Something Better Grant of up to $2,500 to provide running programs for its students.
Manorhaven has designed a comprehensive program to help inspire its students to make good fitness choices. The schools’ “Manorhaven Milers” run during physical education class, recess and before school as part of the program. There is an incentive program for students to earn toe tokens for running miles during the school day and the Fun Run is a celebration of the students’ achievements since the school year began.
Regan added, “We are thrilled to have received the ING grant because it helps our kids discover running as a fun and easy way to increase physical activity and we are introducing them to activities that they will hopefully enjoy doing for a lifetime.” In its fifth year, the ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program, presented by ING U.S. in partnership with the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), is helping to introduce kindergarten through eighth-grade students across the country to the benefits of running and active lifestyles through school-based running programs.
“Healthy nutrition and consistent physical activity are important values we work to teach our students, said Bonni Cohen, principal at Manorhaven School. “It is wonderful to have the resources to help our school reinforce these values and teach our children how to lead healthy, active lives.”
Grant awards were available in all states and the District of Columbia to elementary or middle schools for running programs that targeted kindergarten-through eighth-grade students. Nearly 300 schools applied for the 2013 ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program. An AAHPERD review board consisting of 80 teachers and education administrators reviewed all applications. Nationally, ING U.S. has committed more than $4 million of grants to school-based running programs through ING Run For Something Better.