On the morning of November, 3rd, 150 elementary students and 30 volunteers from Fredrick Douglas School 19 of the Indianapolis Public Schools arrived at the school like they do on a normal Monday through Friday except it was a Saturday at 6:30 a.m. They very easily could have still been in bed or watching Saturday morning cartoons with their families but not this group of elementary students and volunteers. They were preparing to board a bus and the take the ride across town to participate in the IMM 5k.
Fredrick Douglas IPS 19 students, staff, and volunteers before the IMM 5k
This day had been long awaited by the kindergarten through 7th grade students. They had participated in an eight week training program leading up to race day, spending Tuesday and Thursday mornings before school running and walking in preparation.
The first year running program was developed by IPS Wellness Supervisor, Audrey Satterblom, IPS PEP Grant Manager, Kathy Langdon, IMM Executive Director, Blake Boldon, and IMM Community Outreach Manager, Casey Collins. The running program operated in conjunction with the before school program BOKS (Building Our Kids Success.) BOKS is a 40 minute before school program sponsored by the Reebok Foundation that promotes increased activity for children. Collins would attend the two day per week running program to assist IPS physical education teacher, Julie Herdman and her group of volunteers who lead the before school program.
IMM Community Outreach Manager, Casey Collins and IPS 19 staff and students running before school.
The students worked on improving their pacing and endurance while also receiving tips on why being active is such an important part of a healthy life. Satterblom said, "The experience of training and walking or running in the Monumental Marathon is a great opportunity for our children. School 19 is educating the total child focusing on academics as lifelong learners who are physically active."
As the students boarded the buses that morning they knew their hard work and dedication would pay off. They were buzzing with excitement as they rode the bus and then made their way to the start line once they arrived. As they ran the students beamed with joy and amazement from how much fun they were having and the atmosphere that was around them. As they crossed the finish line many of them were exhausted but that could not stop them from smiling ear to ear as they received their finishers' medals and the rest of the goodies.
IPS 19 students, staff, and volunteers enjoying the post race activities.
The event was a success for the group from IPS 19. For the majority of them it was their first race. It was the first time they got the feeling of crossing the finish line. The entire group grew closer that day because of what they had accomplished together. IPS 19 Principal, Aleicha Ostler said, "What a great sense of community this event promoted among our students, staff, and volunteers! The staffs really came through and are an amazing group who does amazing things for kids every day."
The running program continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays as the students are excited for their next race. They don't know when or where it will be but no one can take away their sense of pride for crossing the Monumental finish line.
A group of IPS 19 students proudly wearing their IMM 5k t-shirts and medals.