“The walking club gives the students a fitness focus and a lot of positive feedback,” said Dr. Guyle Glenn, a guidance counselor at Patuxent Elementary School. Some 260 students voluntarily walked 2,100 miles during recess as part of the hospital’s six-week pilot in 2013. They earned tokens for specific milestones but they also learned that physical activity can be fun.
According to the program’s coordinator, Lisa Carlson, of the Community Wellness Department at Calvert Memorial Hospital, that was the main purpose – to teach the kids that something as simple as walking is a great way to stay active and healthy throughout life. She said the program received grant funding from the state and was expanded to include Appeal Elementary School in the fall.
Overall, she said the results of the pilot were very positive. Ninety-one percent of all the first graders completed at least one mile and 19 percent complete at least 10 miles. Additionally, 100 percent of the 2nd graders completed at least one mile and 40 percent completed at least 10 miles.
Carlson said that 12 students completed 26.2 or more miles – the equivalent of a marathon – across both grades. They were second graders Aiden Smith, Sean Grabis, Ian Inman, Nadia Sands, Aiden Fockler and Dennis Tice and first graders Dylan Vojtasko, Cory Herbinko, Xavier Huertas, Amber Dukes, Roderick Payne and Griffin Kings.
She added that nearly a third or 82 students at Patuxent completed between 10 miles and 26 miles across both grades. PES students received tokens for specific milestones and a small key chain to hold them that could be attached to their shoes or backpack.