Covenant Christian students stay active with Daily Mile program

MORGANTOWN — The students at Covenant Christian School have been putting the miles behind them as they take 15 minutes a day to stay active.

Amy Wightman, assistant administrator at the school, said the students started the Daily Mile after she saw a video on Facebook, where students at another school were doing something similar.

What started in Europe made its way to the U.S. and now Morgantown.

Kids ages 3 years old to eighth grade participate every day. The Daily Mile started Sept. 10, and one other school in the state is participating.

“It was just the desire to care about the whole kid. Not only academics, not only, of course we’re a Christian school, so not only the spiritual component, but also just their physical well-being, too,” Wightman said.

With West Virginia being one of the leaders in obesity, Wightman wanted to give the kids a chance to get outside and get moving. She said it also helps their focus in classes.

“It’s been good for everybody — for the staff and the students,” she said.

Wightman said the students really grew to enjoy the activity, which she said kind of surprised her.

The kids are encouraged to run but can take a walking break. The littlest ones might not be sprinting a mile, but they’re getting their exercise in. Even the staff gets out and gets active.

The students also have incentives for the distances they accumulate. At 13.1 miles, they get a “shoe award,” marking that they ran a half marathon. When they reach 26.2 miles, a full marathon, the students receive medals. The kids are always asking about how much further they need to run before they get their awards, which makes the daily activity exciting.

“They’ve been working hard toward that, and some of them have already earned the medal, and we’ve done it for like 16 days,” she said.

The school’s athletic director also keeps tabs on all the distances the kids run. At least 75 percent of the school already hit the half marathon mark or more. In September, the students tried to “run across the country.” Figuratively, of course, but they managed to make it to Crystal, Colo., as they tracked their miles daily.

This month, they are trying to “run” to Budapest, Hungary, where one of the church’s missionaries is located. The kids will have to run 4,642 miles, but staff believes they can hit the goal.

Collectively, they make about 120-140 miles a day.

The school also has an elementary running program and middle school cross country and track programs. On Saturday, there will be a 3K on the church property.

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