Fort Riley, local students embrace Walk A Mile Day
Fort Riley Elementary School students stroll through the Main Post housing area as part of Walk a Mile Day Oct. 4. The event was designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

FORT RILEY, Kan. -- More than 8,000 Unified School District 475 Geary County elementary and middle school students, including Fort Riley students, as well as St. Xavier students, Junction City, participated in Walk a Mile Day Oct. 4.

Each school designated its one-mile course. The course could be broken up to accommodate a student's needs if necessary, according to Jolana Montgomery-Matney, executive director, Geary Community Healthcare Foundation.

The purpose of the event was to encourage a healthy lifestyle to decrease illness later down the road, she said.

"Walking is easy. Families can do it together. It costs nothing. It is very easy and rewarding. Students can do it the rest of their lives," Montgomery-Matney said.

Since not all students participate in team sports, with this program, students can realize it doesn't take long to walk one mile. Hopefully, she said, the event will help curb childhood obesity.

Parents, staff members and adults were invited to participate in the event, according to Becky Lay, Fort Riley Elementary School principal.

"I think the program is good. It's good to get the kids out to exercise," said Lindsay Krier, Fort Riley kindergarten teacher. "The kids enjoy it, and they get to see the neighborhood. Especially today -- it's nice."

The Walk a Mile Day project was the collaborative effort of Geary Community Healthcare Foundation, corporate sponsors and USD 475, as well as St. Xavier principals, physical education teachers and nurses, Montgomery-Matney said. As a result, and as an incentive, two bicycles with two helmets were given away at each school.

At the completion of the event, children filled out tickets for the bicycle drawings. Afterward, the schools took the tickets and the ones filled out by adults to the Geary Community Healthcare Foundation.

At 8:15 a.m. Oct. 5, a grand prize drawing took place at a local radio station. A video game system was given away to one student, Keyan Duncan, a first-grader from Westwood Elementary School, Junction City. A digital music player was drawn for the adult pool. The winner was Amanda Muth, second-grade teacher, Spring Valley Elementary School, Junction City. The prizes were delivered Oct. 5.

Last year, according to Mongomery-Matney, one winner of a bicycle who already owned one insisted another student's name be drawn. The student whose name was subsequently drawn had never owned a bicycle before, but had wanted one.

"Those kinds of things make this so worthwhile," she said.

Page last updated Thu October 13th, 2011 at 18:00