Park Elementary Students Rack Up Activity Miles Thanks to Fit Club Program


Getting kids to be active throughout the day can be challenging, so one Kearney school took it upon themselves to get kids exercising before the start of their day.

Students at Park Elementary in Kearney have been getting in quite the workout every Tuesday and Thursday morning, and the mileage they're racking up is impressive.

It's barely light out and kindergarten through fifth graders at the school can be seen getting a real workout in as part of their fit club program.

Teacher Katie Mathews said, "Fit club was a program that was started several years ago by our PTO and UNK, and we've had to sustain our own and so a couple of staff members come out every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 7:30 and the kids can either walk or run laps, and we go all year round, even in the coldest of weather."

The program, which has about 100 students, has become so popular that there's now a waiting list to join.

And while it's a fun way for kids to get together with friends before school it's not about goofing off.

"Each time they make a lap they get a tally mark and when they get seven tally marks that's one mile. So they're also working on numerous times even, and so today Daniel got thirty laps, so that's over four miles," she explained.

And these students are putting up big numbers.

Last year they had a combined total of almost 5,000 miles, equaling about 163 marathons.

Students say they hope to beat their record from last year.

"Probably over one hundred this year because I want to beat my goal from last year," said one student.

"My goal is I want to get probably at least six marathons," added another.

Mileage is kept track of throughout the year, with the students earning trophies and metals at the end of the year.

Not only do the kids love it, but parents also have great things to say according to Mathews.

"We get a lot of encouragement and support from our parents and PTO, and so we encourage that support," she said.

Park Elementary isn't the only school with a program like this for students.

Many other schools in the area have similar activities geared towards instilling healthy life styles for children.