Running club at Orchard Hill Elementary - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Running club at Orchard Hill Elementary

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Third through sixth graders at Orchard Hill Elementary in Cedar Falls hit the track each Tuesday and Thursday.

It's all part of the Orchard Hill Running Club, which started in September.

"Christy Shaw (another teacher) actually approached me. We're both on the wellness council for our school, and we are becoming Blue Zones certified. One of the activities is that elementary students need to be active 150 minutes a week," said P.E. teacher Kris Whitcher.

Teachers said running twice a week helps keep the students focused during the school day.

"The people in the lunch room say they come in hungry and settled. Tired. That helps," said third grade teacher Christy Shaw.

Since the running club happens during recess, teachers want the students to have fun but also to learn about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

"It's fun. It's good for you," said student Rachel Brokenshire.

"It's healthy for your body, and I just think it's really fun to run," said student Evan Walker.

"I'm so proud of the Orchard Hill students because they really do care about their health. The comments I'm getting are I've lost a few pounds or I feel my mile time is going to be so much better this year or I just feel healthy," said Kris Whitcher.

The students carry red cards with them, and after each lap a teacher or parent volunteer mark the card.

"We have this card with 40 shoes and once you do a lap you get one crossed off. Once you fill a card you get a shoe, and you're trying to get as many as you can," said Rachel Brokenshire.

A card with 40 crossed off shoes represents five miles. So far, the Orchard Hill students have completed more than 350 miles. The plan is to continue running through Thanksgiving and start up again in the spring.

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