Submitted by Ronda Sowa and Susan Abramson
Children are natural runners. They run at recess, they run on the lawn and yes, sometimes when they forget, they run in the halls. Giving children time and space to run alongside their peers and a coach helps them set goals, monitor their progress and feel a sense of pride as they achieve those goals.
If you happen to have been near the Lower School on a recent Tuesday afternoon you may have seen the newest addition to our aftercare program, a running club organized and led by fourth-grade teacher Ronda Sowa. Mrs. Sowa – a lifelong runner and health enthusiast – is offering this class to fourth- and fifth-grade students, and the response has been very enthusiastic!
“I think it’s really fun, and I like how we get to play games. I used to run track, and we’d warm up, run and then do conditioning. But Mrs. Sowa builds in games and that makes it really fun.” says fourth-grader Sierra.
Gabi adds, “When we play the games there is a lot of teamwork and responsibility. Each week we build up how long we can run and that’s really fun.”
The class starts with children recording the weather conditions, the route, and a personal goal in their running journals. They then do warm ups, games, and of course, they run. Afterwards the class reflects on the difficulty of the run and how they are feeling.
According to fourth-grader Leah, “Mrs. Sowa doesn’t make it one level. She sees what you can do and what you can’t do, and then makes it harder or easier. And she just learned that we can go further than we thought, so she added hurdles to the route.”
We are excited to share this new offering, and in particular, we are thrilled to see our students outside in the fresh air after working hard all day in school. Please be on the lookout for the D-E 360 Aftercare brochure for the 2016-17 fall session for new offerings, and do not hesitate to contact Michele Wright if you have questions about the program.