Thomas County first and second graders get a jump start on their days with Garrison Pilcher Elementary School’s Morning Mile organized by physical education and health teacher Lisa Guyton.
“One of our goals this year is to increase physical activity of the students by 30 minutes each day,” said Guyton.
Guyton applied for a grant and received $1000 and used part of the money to purchase fitness trackers.
“Not knowing how many students would participate, I purchased 30,” said Guyton. “Ninety-five kids showed up on day one!”
Guyton says that they are averaging 75 kids per day on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7:10 a.m. to 7:35 a.m. Since the program only had 30 fitness trackers, Guyton quickly created a way to measure the distance each student walks. Those without a tracker get a cup, and for each lap he or she walks a coin is put in their cup. At the end of the time, the student counts their coins or steps and it is written down. 2000 steps or 23 coins = 1 mile.
Enthusiastic students wait in line to pick up their tracking method: a pedometer or a token system. Garrison Pilcher faculty Blair Hubbard, Rosalie Wilson, Jessica Duncan, and Tami Thompson are some of the generous volunteers who help man the sessions.
Early risers Conner McMullen using the token tracking system, and Ward Hayes showing off his digital tracker join the Morning Mile fun.