Walkers program helps students be more physically active
Every Wednesday during recess, weather permitting, there is a group of purpose-driven Weisenberg Elementary students doing laps around the entire playground.
These purpose-driven youngsters are rewarded with beads which they can use to craft a necklace of their favorite colors, school colors or even spell out their names.
The walking program started about four years ago as a way to encourage students to be more active.
Angela Schmoyer, coordinator and PTO volunteer, has a tray of beads which are used as incentives to make the exercise worthwhile.
“The students walk or run around the playground,” she said. “For each lap, they get to choose a bead.”
Some students filled up an entire necklace within a month.
And it’s not just the beads that attracts the students, it’s the connections that are also attractive.
Olivia Schmoyer, a third-grader has been a Weisenberg Walker for three years.
“I like to walk,” she said. “It’s nice to chat with my friends as we go around the playground.”
Schmoyer pointed out the program, unfortunately, has to be put on hold during rain, cold weather or unsafe conditions on the playground.
“If it isn’t safe for the kids to be on the playground, we don’t want them to do it,” Schmoyer stated.
The program appeals to all grade levels, boys and girls.
“The kindergarten kids take shorter laps,” Schmoyer explains. “It’s not that they couldn’t do it, it’s that they are so active they might head for the playground and not finish an entire lap.”