Cypress Mileage Club Logs 1,500 Miles

August 20, 2016 | Marilyn Jordan

Common sense dictates there is a connection between exercise and better health, and educators are very aware of the positive correlation between exercise and student performance.

Ten years ago, following suggestions made by the U.S. Department of Health, Cypress Adventist School (CAS) in Lynnwood, Wash., made the decision to implement a program that would address issues of concern. The school became involved in North America’s premier running/walking program for school, the Feelin’ Good Mileage Club. During the 2015–2016 school year, 15,000 schools (2.5 million kids) participated in this activity.

The club has proven to be a very beneficial part of the of the pre-K through fifth curriculum at CAS. Three times weekly, for 10 minutes of the 20 minute morning recess, students walk or run on a prescribed quarter mile course around the field. They have the option to continue walking for the final 10 minutes or have free playtime.

Each child has an individual mileage card on which their laps are recorded. This year, pre-K student Ethan Rae chalked up 40 miles, and second-graders Hiyab Gabrehiwet and Andrew Santos recorded 90 miles each. Together all the pre-K through fifth-grade participants compiled a total of 1,500 miles.

Student motivation comes from three sources:

  1. A large thermometer displayed in the main hallway tracks the combined miles and students excitedly watch their progress as the “temperature rises”;

  2. Individual “toe tokens” (key chain size colorful plastic feet that can be attached to shoes, backpacks or zippers), with 5 miles earning one token;

  3. The camaraderie that develops while walking and talking with friends, simultaneously achieving goals together, promoting teamwork and building self-esteem.

This program will continue this August for an eleventh year. It has lived up to all expectations.

Everyone wins with the Feelin' Good Mileage Club.