The Run for Something Better School Awards Program involves students from kindergarten through eighth grade and began on Monday, Oct. 3, with over 60 students participating.
Over 300 schools applied for the grant, while a review board consisting of 190 teachers and administrators reviewed applications.
“We’re really excited we were chosen to receive the grant,” Ripley principal Lauren Ornsby said.
Ripley has received $1,000 to begin the program and has modeled it after a system used by Clymer Central School. The first part of the program lasts for ten weeks leading up to Christmas break. Students who are involved are given a special pass and are allowed into the school for 40 minutes before the school day begins. During that time, they take part in running activities and endurance tests.
Last year, ING awarded 60 grants to schools in 27 states. After the program ended, students had run 123,580 total miles. According to NASPE Executive Director Charlene Burgeson, participating schools showed an average of 31.2 percent increase in aerobic cardiovascular endurance in students from the start to end of the running program.
Ornsby said that after Christmas break, the second session funded by the grant will hopefully prepare and encourage students to run in the community’s 5k event which takes place in the spring. Using funds from the grant, the registration of the students will be paid for in order for them to participate.
Ornsby also said she hopes to bring those students to the Hershey Track and Field event at Strider Field in Jamestown in June.
“The kids love it. We usually bring about 40 students,” Ornsby said and added she hopes even more students come for this coming year’s Hershey event.
“Exercise helps with academics and behavior, so we’re excited to see extra involvement,” Ornsby said.
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Ripley Central Schools Principal Lauren Ormsby, left, and Rachael Swan will oversee the ING Run For Something Better program recently awarded to RCS.