We Appreciate Your Donation
Please consider a DONATION to help us serve more students. Review details on our lean operation and streamlined, kids-focused budget, where the average annual cost of the program per student is $26 and we leverage every contribution dollar with 66 cents of in-kind donations from our generous corporate donors (Bradventures LLC, Jamba Juice, Clif Bar, Specialized Water Bottles, Globe footwear, Mrs. Mays Naturals, Modern Postcard and parent volunteers at each school site).
KCRA Channel 3 Sacramento Highlights Skyridge Morning Mile Program
Students at Skyridge begin their day with self-paced running around the new
half-mile Skyridge Fitness Trail (built by numerous community
volunteers last summer) that circles the perimeter of campus.
Principal Doris Chandler has generously altered the bell
schedule so that students can exercise for 10 minutes before
heading to class.
Skyridge fourth grade teacher Noel Martin (whose
husband Tim bulldozed and laid granite on a portion of the trail
last summer) told the Auburn Journal about the impact of the
program, "It's great because you get good energy from exercise,
so they really are more focused when they come into the
classroom. It feels good. Everyone comes in with their cheeks
pink and they're smiling."
Students are incentivized by collecting tickets for each lap completed, which they exchange for prizes like healthy snacks and T-shirts. Occasionally, the pack is inspired by the appearance of Mr. Bananaman, a mysterious fleet-footed fruit
who was filmed frolicking with the kids for a KCRA Channel 3 Sacramento morning news story. Watch the 4-minute
KCRA Bananaman Video!
NEW - KCRA Channel 3 Bananaman Skyridge Morning Mile (VIDEO)
- Skyridge Morning Mile
News 10 Good Morning - Skyridge Olympics (VIDEO)
Auburn Journal - Rock Creek School
Douglas County, NV Record-Courier - Jacks Valley Elementary
Big George Ventures LLC
- our title sponsor has funded our
program to ensure financial viability for the next three years.
Big George is developing eco-friendly affordable housing in the
Carson Valley area. They funded a spectacular new athletic
complex at Douglas High School, another at South Tahoe Middle
School, startup funding for an ambitious shuttle service between
Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe, numerous other fitness and
health-related programs to support a healthy community, both
locally and beyond. Big George Principal
Dr. Ray Sidney is Running School's Vice President and
passionate endurance athlete.
Kaiser Permanente Thrive Program - This progressive
health care company's Community Health Initiative supports
Running School's grass roots effort to promote youth fitness and
now about how we can add your company to this list of
Fall Semester 2007 Wraps Up
- Promising Results From Partner Schools!
Congratulations to the 3,000+ kids at our six partner schools who completed an exciting semester of Running School events. The students performed favorably in comparison with national averages for aerobic conditioning. We expect that continued delivery of the program will result in further improvement. In particular, we aspire to elevate nearly all of our students into the "Healthy Fitness Zone" - an aerobic performance level (established by the Cooper Aerobics Institute in Dallas, TX) indicating a fitness/activity level that is optimal for good health and protection against inactivity-related medical problems. The Healthy Fitness Zone performance standards are graded by age and sex and adjusted to the half-mile distance for younger students.
All of our schools performed as good or significantly better than the California average Healthy Fitness Zone passing rate of 60% (2005 study). We had dozens of extraordinary students who attained the 95th percentile standard on the nationwide Presidential Physical Fitness standards. We had hundreds of students who vastly improved their performances in subsequent events - posting a 10, 20, 30, even 50% reduction in half-mile or mile times!
Most striking were the phenomenal performances by students at our pilot program school, Skyridge. Buoyed by four years of participation in the program, an astonishing 15 students met the 100th percentile nationwide Presidential Fitness standard and eight classrooms (of 17 total in grades 1-5) achieved a 100% Healthy Fitness Zone passing rate.
Here are the percentages of the student body who attained age and distance-adjusted standards for the FITNESSGRAM's Healthy Fitness Zone:
- Skyridge Elementary, Auburn, CA - 90% (year four of
- Rock Creek Elementary, Auburn, CA - 86% (semester two of
- Cambridge Heights Elementary, Citrus Heights, CA - 79%
- Auburn Elementary, Auburn, CA - 78%
- Jacks Valley Elementary, Minden, NV - 71%
- EV Cain Middle School, Auburn, CA - 60%
The sinister-looking but still
very healthy role model
Mr. Bananaman chases
kids on the obstacle course!
shatters his own school record at Skyridge!
sets a new best time in the half mile!
proceed over the obstacle course during the self-paced
juice smoothies at the finish line - what a treat!
At all schools, the percentages of fit kids declined significantly as they got older. This is likely related to a decrease in natural daily activity as kids partake in more digital diversions and also due to fluctuating motivation levels. We also experienced numerous kids ran significantly slower at subsequent exposures to the test, obviously due to fluctuating motivation and focus rather than a steep decline in conditioning in a month!
We aim to influence kids in their formative years so they develop healthy, process-oriented competitive attitudes, a pure motivation for running and regular activity and a strong desire to pursue personal fitness goals. These qualities will help them avoid becoming part of disturbing statistics such as 1/3 of high school students being completely sedentary, the younger generation having a lower life expectancy than their parents for the first time in history and the annual cost of obesity in California projected to skyrocket from the current stunner of $28 billion per year. We have a long way to go and have received tremendous positive encouragement from our partner schools, sponsors and donors. We have also fielded inquiries from numerous schools who wish to adopt the program and we are growing as our budget allows.
Note: Statistics show that obesity rates are significantly higher among minority and low-income populations. While our school populations are less ethnically diverse than California's entire state demographics, they represent a balance of socio-economic levels. Our school sites average 33% of the student body qualifying for the Federal Title I free/reduced lunch program for low income families, with individual school sites ranging from 15-71%.
Executive Director, Running School, Inc.