MISD Schools Leading the Way in Nationwide Exercise Program
February 24, 2021 — Three Midland ISD elementary schools are leading the way, literally, when it comes to a popular fitness program. Pease Communications Academy, Ben Milam International Academy, and Yarbrough Elementary are ranked No. 1, 2, and 3 nationally, according to Marathon Kids.
So far this school year, students at Pease have been credited with running 29,212 miles - more than any other individual campus in the country! Students at Milam and Yarbrough have completed 28,173 and 25,074 miles, respectively. Yarbrough was even featured on the Marathon Kids website.
"It's so cool to be able to tell these kids that they are literally number one!" said Pease P.E. Teacher Byron James. "We talk about it all the time, but at the end of the day it's really just about creating a healthy lifestyle that they can take with them long after they leave Pease."
During P.E., Pease students participate in "Walking Wednesdays" where every student walks or runs for 20 minutes. James says some of the students run more than two miles in a single class.
"They really challenge themselves to keep moving," James said. "It's amazing how many of them have really taken to it."
Additionally, three other campuses: Long, Lamar, and Bunche elementaries are ranked in the top 15 nationwide.
"Even when we were out due to COVID, many students were able to maintain their frequent exercise and log their miles," said MISD Physical Education Director Audra Hooker. "Now that they're back to campus, they've continued the healthy habits."
Teachers and parents can submit mileage on the Marathon Kids' platform, which helps track their progress. The goal is for each student to complete the equivalent one marathon (26.2 miles) during the course of the school year.
"They can earn credit for any physical activity," Hooker said. "For example, 20 minutes of playing soccer or another sport can be logged as one mile."
Districtwide, the 12,518 students participating in the program have spent nearly 3.5 million minutes exercising this year, accumulating 173,491 miles. This is equivalent to 6,621 full marathons.
This is the fourth year MISD has participated in Marathon Kids, which now includes all elementary campuses.