Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kindergarten jog-a-thon

We had a jog-a-thon at our elementary school on Friday. I work with kindergarteners so that was the group I went outside with.

The kinder kids find sponsors, and on the designated day they bring back their sheets and run laps around the field. As they pass the tent, volunteers put a hash mark on their tag that is affixed to their back to keep track of how many laps they had run. My job was to stand at the corner cone and make sure no one cut corners across the field. You'd be surprised how many want to do that, lol.

After the first lap all the kids were huffing. Honestly, kids today don't go play outside and run around the neighborhood, running and biking in between all the houses, playing in the brook, and picking at the dump, like we used to 40 years ago. In my day, we'd leave in the morning, our mothers shouting "be home by dark!", and off we would go, on bikes or feet. Nowadays, for obvious reasons, kids are confined to their yards and frankly most of them just stay inside and play video games.

So they were huffing for sure. But after the second lap they all were getting into the competitive aspect, competing with themselves to see how many laps they could do. They'd proudly shout "I did 5!" or "I'm on 7!"

Some kids who I only see all day sitting at a little table and doing alphabet papers in class, really shone with their running. One girl was so thrilled. She shouted as she passed by, "I love running! It's my favorite thing! But I love climbing the tree too!" The tree, lol.

Many of the girls ran hand-in-hand, and that was the sweetest thing! One gal likes to wear wedding type dresses and Easter to dresses to school. She has long flowing black hair and black round eyes. She and another girl were running hand in hand, the girl's hair looking like a model's in the wind machine blowing all around her because she was going so fast, her little satin sash on her flowered dress wafting out behind, her hands clasped tightly together with her friend's and both were smiling. How sweet!!

Of course there were pairs of boys competing with each other, running full blast with tongues hanging out, feet pounding the grass as they rounded the cone, looking back to see where the other boy was. Is he gaining? Am I ahead? Boys!

If I closed my eyes, and just listened and felt the air, I enjoyed the soft spring air on my skin, the birds overhead, and the sound of children running and laughing in the sun. Not a bad way to end a workweek.


Christie said...

Have you ever read Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy? In the back of the book she lists a bunch of stats and calculates based on empirical evidence that a child would have to stand on a street corner for 17 days before he/she would be in any danger of being abducted. It's in line with the likelihood of being hit by lightning. Anyway, I actually think I would be much more likely to let my kid out to play were it not for neighbors who might turn me in for neglect. I have a hard time letting him out on our property, even, since I have no direct line of sight. Thank goodness, I'm lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom and can take him outside and to parks, on hikes, etc. I have a kid who loves to run. And many of his friends, both boys and girls, are the same. It is sort of amazing to watch their little selves experiencing so much pure joy from the movement of their bodies. They are too precious! What a great idea. I hope the school Hen goes to next year does something similar.

Elizabeth Prata said...

You're right, Christie, the kids just loved being able to run-run-run. LOL, they have recess at 2:00-2:30, ten we come in, get water, pack up and go tot he gym at 2:50 to go home. If we are the first class in the gym they always ask em, "Can we run around?" They just ran around for half an hour! But there is still energy in those little legs!

I loved the days when we could roam the town at will. I used to spend a great deal of time in the historic cemetery on a sloping hill that went down tot he pond. Evergreens overshaded the place and the sunken gravestones dating from 1600s to 800s fascinated me. When I got tired of that I'd go to the bottom of the hill and play in the shallow water looking for tadpoles. And when I got tired of that I'd hop on my bike and ride into town for a root beer float.

Now everybody's locked down tight.

The jog-a-ton was a huge hit. I hope Henry has a good time at his new school. The new school yer will be here before you know it. We only have 18 days left in ours.