On the morning of September 26, Salt River Elementary School (SRES) held its first fun run of the school year. This fun run was held to celebrate Native American Recognition Day.
The run is 1.2 miles; the route began at the elementary school parking lot and traveled to Salt River High School and back.
The school has been having four fun runs per year for about 10 years now. “It started out as a way of introducing our kids to ways of staying healthy and fit. … showing them that in the long run it will help them stay diabetes free. We kept it going as kind of a school tradition,” said Maria Chavez, a parent and community involvement specialist for SRES.
“We want to make sure our kids develop good, healthy habits, and hopefully their families will follow suit. That’s also why we encourage them to invite their parents and families out to participate in the fun run.”
Wesley Filhart, SRES lead P.E. instructor, said the fun run has turned into a Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community event.
“Yesterday (September 26) was the biggest turnout for family participation we ever had; we even ran out of water,” said Filhart about the event.
The fun run has a staggered start, with kids in the FACE program first, then kindergarten students and up through the sixth-graders. As each wave of class groups took to the streets, so did many of their family members, with parents and younger siblings running alongside the students.
Each grade competes against the others to see whose class can get the most runners to the finish line. Seven class trophies are awarded all together, and the top five boys and girls of each class receive fun run T-shirts.
“The fun run was awesome. I [hope] we can always have them, because this teaches the students to be healthy and active,” said Filhart.
The next fun run, on October 31 at 10 a.m., will promote National Anti-Bullying Month and celebrate Halloween. For more information on the SRES fun runs, contact SRES at (480) 362-2400.