Running For Life
SLE track promotes health
In a matter of weeks, South Lebanon Elementary will introduce a completed outdoor recreational track to its students and community.
About four years ago, gym teacher Lynn Kelly and teacher Peggy Allen got the idea for a track at SLE.
SLE’s neighbor, the TPC Golf Course at River’s Bend wanted to help. They donated the money and supplies to create a gravel track.
This year, the track was paved making for a smoother, better looking track. The school rallied parent volunteers and found companies and residents that could donate or contribute to the track. One-hundred percent of the track was donated.
Allen is in charge of the track-related program, The Flying Knights. Every five laps on the track is one mile. Not only does this encourage fitness but teachers also encourage the students to do the math.
This program is used for the second through fourth graders. At the end of each month they count up their laps. Twenty-five laps (five miles) earn the student a chain and a foot charm. One-hundred laps earn a larger foot, called “The Big Foot.”
Allen said that everyone can feel like they are contributing because classes compete too. The classes compete for the Big Foot award which is Anthony Muñoz’s shoe on a plaque given to the classroom to keep.
“I take the kids out and do a lap or two because exercise and education go hand in hand,” said Allen.
Ryan Flecker, a fourth-grade student at SLE set the record for most laps in his third-grade year. He completed 280 laps. The track will also have lanes added as well.
“It will be easier to run without falling. You won’t have to run around people.” Flecker said.
Flecker said his motivation is simply that it’s easy for him. He said he likes getting into a group and talking to his friends while running.
The most important part of this track is that it is dedicated to Sammy Regan. Sammy was a former SLE student who is loved and held close in the memory of her family, friends, and teachers. In the track’s first year, Reagan was SLE student-council president. She was very big into fitness and the Flying Knights Club.
On, Nov. 7, Sammy’s birthday, there will be an opening ceremony in her memory.
This fall SLE is looking to have a 5K walk on the track. They are still waiting to paint lines on it and have walking and running lanes. The track is open to the community which includes parents, students, and any Kings residents.
“Kids that struggle can do this. Everyone can do this,” she said.