For dozens of Lines Elementary School students, running isn’t just limited to gym class anymore. It’s an activity they’ve grown to love through the school’s Lines on the Run club.
The children’s running club has attracted nearly 100 students to participate in the morning runs, held each Tuesday and Thursday. The Halloween Hustle on Oct. 26 marked the end of the club’s season, with students running one, two or three miles.
The Midwest Bone & Joint Institute sponsored the club and the end of season Halloween Hustle as a way to teach children about the importance of health and physical activity.
“We’re trying to instill safe, smart and productive exercising,” said Dr. James Seeds of the Midwest Bone & Joint Institute. “It’s really just to try and promote kids getting active and healthy at a young age.”
The Midwest Bone & Joint Institute offered the students incentives for coming to the running club. Students who attended five sessions each received a free red T-shirt, which generated a lot of interest among Lines children.
“They love it,” said parent Erica Shein, who has two daughters who participate in the club.
Lines mom Michelle Pashkow agreed. “They’ve done such a great job … they get a foot each time they come to add to their key ring, and they’ve been handing out shirts. It’s just a great way to get them excited about it,” she said.
When the running club began, 67 students turned out for the first day. By the end of the program, more than 90 children were coming to run early two mornings a week. Those numbers account for nearly one-fifth of the school’s student body.
“My favorite thing is probably the running, because all of the different age groups do it and it’s really run to see how much kids do it and what grades they are in,” running club participant and fifth-grader Lilly Carey said.
Parents agree that the running club has had a positive impact on their children and hope another session of Lines on the Run starts up in the spring.
“I do think it’s a great way to start their day. The research shows that if they exercise before school, it helps them sit still through the day, so I think that has been positive. I actually think they are sad to see it come to an end,” Shein said.