Students at Fair Oaks Middle School were joined Friday by parents, guardians and other relatives for Family Fitness Fun Day.
"We're just walking, running or jogging the track, and attempt to accumulate as many miles as we can," Roxanne Pogge, physical education teacher, said. "Our goal is just to see how many laps. We're hoping that we can see this is a fun activity, to get out and walk as a family."
Five laps on the school's outdoor track equals one mile. The laps of everyone participating were recorded to see how many miles they could walk cumulatively, Pogge said.
-Messenger photo by Brandon L. Summers
Gene Stockdale, left, walks with granddaughter Faith Wiley and her friend Kylie Portz at Fair Oaks Middle School’s Family Fitness Fun Day. Students walked or jogged with parents, guardians and/or relatives around the track to promote fitness Friday.
"Regardless of how many miles, the basic premise is for kids and families to have just kind of a relaxed, good day at Fair Oaks, know that they are doing something for their own wellness and health," she said.
Sixth-grade students walked during their P.E., health, computer, read-to or TAG class, while fifth-graders participated during their P.E., health, read-to or TAG class.
The event was also framed as a contest for the students, Pogge said.
"We kind of have a little contest between the fifth- and sixth-graders to see how many they can do, as well as to see if sixth grade can beat what they did last year as fifth-graders," she said. "And then just to see if we can beat the total number we did last year as a school."
This is the third Family Fitness Fun Day. It's becoming an annual event, Pogge said, though the school skipped one year.
"At one point we talked about doing it just every other year, so the kids would do it once during their time here at Fair Oaks, but some of them said they had so much fun with it that we might as well go every year, because it's just kind of a fun afternoon, a fun day for the kids," she said.
Pogge said it was heartening to see so many parents participating in the event. In the morning alone, 80 adults participated.
"It's great to see so many parents out here," she said. "And it's very low-key. They all seem to be having a good time. They get quite astonished at how quickly miles add up, but if you consider five people go around one time that makes a mile. They do add up very quickly."
The parents weren't the only ones excited about fitness Friday.
"The kids have been quite excited about it for days," Pogge said. "They've been pumped up about how many miles they're going to get. They just are amazed."
Not only is the day fun, there are also real benefits for all participating, Pogge said.
"Physical fitness and health benefits are great," she said. "It's also tied in with Go the Distance day, which is the Iowa Sports Foundation. It's meant to promote health and wellness throughout the state of Iowa."
At the end of the school day, after six periods of walking, students and parents walked a total of 1,261 miles, equaling 6,305 laps. According to Pogge, 87 parents walked with the fifth-graders, and 80 with the sixth-graders, with some overlap.
Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org