For the past several years, Barlow Mountain Elementary School has encouraged students, family members and teachers to go out and exercise in a program called “Run for Life.” Over a period of four days, Oct. 9 through 12, the Barlow Mountain Elementary School community of teachers, students, parents, siblings, and relatives came together in their annual Run for Life program.
This heart-enhancing event took place on the school’s fields with tree leaves creating beautiful background color. The program is an extension of the physical education program at Barlow Mountain School. Organized by Shirley Hughes, physical education teacher, participants are invited to walk/jog laps for classroom points. Points are then tallied at the end of the week to earn a “Run for Life” banner.
The idea developed long ago during a discussion with a student teacher to encourage kids to be more active. For physical education teachers, the focus was on running. The timing of this event coincides with the state of Connecticut physical fitness testing period of Sept. 17 through Nov. 9.
Participation in the event is optional. The purpose of the event is fourfold:
- To educate and motivate lifetime fitness and wellness skills.
- To tackle inactivity in a fun manner.
- To help students in grades three through five prepare for physical fitness testing.
- To engage community participation.
The four-day event was a bit soggy at times but encouraged the whole school’s participation. Hughes said, “We know that children who are physically fit do better overall in academics and in general problem-solving issues. This one program, Run for Life, is just one way that Barlow Mountain Elementary School is addressing the issue of wellness for everyone.” In the spring, a maintenance program is planned that will give students, faculty and families the ability to participate in a walk/run routine once a month.