About 250 West Jasper students took part in the Run for the Planet, an initiative of National Geographic Kids in cooperation with Guinness World Records that saw people around the world attempting to set a new world record for the most people to run or walk 100 meters in 24 hours.
“We’re trying to help set the record of how many individuals can run this, (and) we’re doing this at a lot of schools in the state,” said Nicole Barnes, a coordinator at Institute for America’s Health.
The school came to participate in the run by way of the IAH’s (Institute for America’s Health) Wellness, Academics and You program.
“West Jasper is a WAY model school, and they were asked by representatives from this program to participate,” said Rita Pilling, principal at West Jasper Elementary School. “With National Geographic and the Guinness Book of World Records, they’re trying to get enough meters run by the children in the WAY program to circle the globe.”
Pilling said the students’ smiles and laughter displayed confirmed the fun they were having. “Good physical activity is so important for good health.”
“Children want to be active, and love for an adult to help them be active,” she said.
The WAY program, including events such as Friday’s run, allows students to stay active while learning.
“This program helps children reconnect physical activity and academics, knowing that physical activity only improves our academics,” Barbara Woodley, the WJS Physical Education teacher said. “I back it up in P.E. with nutrition facts and make sure we’re active at least 30 minutes a day here at school. It’s teaching the whole child, being well, being academically sound and being happy, because children love to play.”