Motivated to run
Motivated to run
Posted on 03/15/2018

The sun is shining, a few clouds dot the sky, and a mound of winter coats begin to develop on the blacktop at Shaw RoadRecess runners Elementary. It may not be spring, but for Washington natives the 55 degrees is a welcome relief to the cold and wind. For many, the sunshine and smell of spring in the air tends to energize, leading to spring fever.

The students of Shaw Road don’t have any unused, pent up energy from spring fever; the students of Shaw Road are runners. They are “Recess Runners. “

Recess Runners is a mileage club program created to encourage students to have a positive experience being physically active. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), students who are physically active tend to have better grades, better school attendance, increased cognitive performance, and positive classroom behavior.


When paraeducator Laura Santos took on the Recess Runners program just over six weeks ago, she raised the expectations to a new level. With the support of Shaw Road’s PTA, Laura was able to purchase EZ Scan. EZ Scan is a QR
code scanning app for iOS and Android operating systems. It works by using a tablet's built-in camera technology and operational systems. After each lap the student’s individual card is scanned. The app then syncs to the database providing all the data for Santos to access the performance of the student on that day.

Recess runnersArmed with this data Santos can identify the percentage of students participating each day, determine the top 10 runners, identify students who have run at least one lap, and compile total mileage per grade level and per classroom.

The information is updated daily, and reports are posted in the hallway every Monday. “We give the students this data, and it spurs a little competition not only with each other but also between classrooms,” said Santos.

In addition to the weekly reports, Mondays are a day to recognize the students for their accomplishments. For every five miles a student runs they receive a certificate along with a charm corresponding with those miles.

When asked about the outcome of this project Santos replied, “The goal of this project is to raise awareness for an active healthy lifestyle. The kids see that only a little walking or running each day can add up quickly and doesn’t take that long. We hold a Walk-A-Thon in the spring which raises money for a current need in our school. This is also a way to prepare them for that event.”

Recess Runners began January 29 and already has 515 students running. That is a participation rate of 76 percent. Building wide the students have run over 1,250 miles.

Within the four short weeks the program has been initiated, two students have already ran miles equivalent to a marathon.

Second graders Charles Collins and Simon Turner both ran over 26 miles. When asked what they like best about running they replied in unison, “Passing people.”

 “I know a lot of people who think I’m not very fast because I am small, and then when I pass them they are like what?” said Charles.

Parents, grandparents, teachers, high school students, and community members are invited to come out and run with the students. They can participate for one recess or even a lap. “Guest runners are a great motivation for the students,” said Santos.Recess Runners


 “Shaw Road support staff is amazing! They are doing everything they can to make sure students are safe, healthy, and busy on the playground,” said Principal Michelle Cruckshank.

Recess runners