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Viewmont Students Hope to Reach Goals for Fitness, Computer Fundraising

Dec 08, 2015 08:34AM ● Published by Julie Slama

By Julie Slama

About 35 students began weeks ago, learning proper running techniques and switching to healthy eating habits not only for the love of running, but also to prepare for the school’s fundraising run on Nov. 12, where they hoped to earn $15,000 to help purchase laptop computers for the school.

As of the race date, with money still needing to be counted, they were about halfway to their goal, which is not only earmarked for computers, but also Parent-Teacher Association activities and supplies, PTA president Becky Hut said.

However, all the Viewmont students were charged up for the run, which took place on a course on the school grounds.

Second grader Alex Beckstead was waiting for his turn.

“I want to run 20 laps, at least,” he said, adding that he brought in money to help with the school fundraising.

His teacher, Geri Smith, said that they use computers for math and reading programs on iReady, as well as for online testing and Hour of Code, which will take place during the national week of coding on Dec. 7.

Physical education specialist Sunshine Szedeli began the school’s running club in mid-October, in part to help prepare students for the fun run.

“Our running group is this fantastic group of students of all ages and athletic ability,” she said. “Running is one of my passions. It’s something you can do as a team, or on your own. As long as you’ve got the right shoes and a little sun in the sky, you’ve got a recipe for success.”

Szedeli said the club offers students drills, games, stretches and opportunities to learn about running and being healthy. She also has students reinforce what they learn in class.

“They are enthusiastic and want to run, no matter what the weather is. It’s also a chance for me to instill healthy habits for our students. As adults, we are role models for our kids and we can model the behavior we want our children to follow and how we want them to be. This is just an opportunity for them to establish good habits and find what they love to do,” she said.

Along with Szedeli, Miss Murray Nicole Montgomery comes to help the students with the running club, offering students another positive role model, and through her volunteerism teaches them about leadership.

Szedeli hopes to continue offering fitness and healthy lifestyle activities after school as the weather turns cold this winter. She’s not sure if it will be nutritional cooking, yoga, dance or other forms of activities. When the weather warms back up, Szedeli plans to resume the running club.

“I just want to help these kids to explore different activities, find their passion and have them be able to do it, to keep their bodies moving, get their heart rates up, breath fresh air — whether it’s soccer, jump roping, yoga, biking, basketball, dance or running. For me, I found running at age 14 and I’ve never stopped. I get so much out of it,” she said.  

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