Springs Ranch Elementary School community demonstrates its commitment to student achievement and the development of the whole child during the school’s annual walkathons.
The walkathon events are part of a state healthy schools initiative to make children healthy students and better learners. It’s developed as an active and fun way to raise funds for healthy school efforts.
The Springs Ranch Elementary School healthy school team created their walkathon in 2013, with funding through the Healthy Schools Colorado grant. The funding represents a partnership between RMC Health, Colorado Department of Education and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
During the fundraisers for the school, students collect pledges tied to how many laps they end up walking, or donations simply for participating, according to Jeff Ingram, physical education teacher at Springs Ranch Elementary School.
During the inaugural event in May 2013, more than 700 students, kindergarten-fifth grade, joined the daylong effort to raise funds for a gymnasium sound system.
Most children received a donation to complete the 90-minute walk, while others earned pledges based on how many quarter-mile laps they finished. They took frequent dance breaks, when students joined together in jovial activities.
In the end, they walked a combined 1,927 miles — that’s the distance from Denver to Boston.
“I see kids who in a traditional classroom setting sometimes they have a little bit of a harder time sitting still and paying attention — you know, doing the things that are expected of them," said Ingram. "But when they come to PE, or an event like this, they really have their opportunity to shine.
“They’re up; they’re moving. So, they’re really enjoying what’s going on. At the same time it allows them the opportunity to be really successful at something that’s going on at school.”
“You see kids who are in wheelchairs and have other disabilities, and they get to participate, too, through the handwork of, not only of the paraprofessionals that work with them, but also their classmates.”