Rangers Pound Pavement

NEW KNOXVILLE — Elementary students at New Knoxville Local School sprinted out to the track Monday afternoon to begin their one or two laps around the track.

The students are members of the Ranger Recess Walking Club, which “promotes fitness, character and responsibility while rewarding positive behavior,” according to a note sent home to parents.

The club, which formed earlier this month, is currently open to students in the first through third grade. Members of the club run or walk one or two laps around the track during their 15-minute lunch or afternoon recess.

Students choose to walk each day and accumulate a tally mark for each lap around the track, equivalent to a quarter of a mile, they complete. The students record their walks on a paper foot, tallying each lap completed and punching a hole for each mile completed.

After walking 10 miles, a Ranger Recess Walking Club student receives a small chain with a token to put on their shoe or backpack. A new token is awarded each time an additional 10 miles is completed.

So far, more than 60 elementary students are participating in the club and have walked or ran approximately 100 miles.

First-grade student Brenna VanGundy is on her way to earning her first token.

“I already ran 3 miles,” Brenna told The Evening Leader. “I’m on my fourth mile.”

Classmate Ella Resor said she was halfway to earning her first token.

“I ran 5 miles,” she said.

Second-grade student Jenna Henegar has completed a similar number of laps around the track.

“I’ve done 4 (miles),” Jenna said.

Jay Waterman is one of the first students in the Ranger Recess Walking Club to earn a token.

“Ten miles,” Jay said of how far he has walked.

Elementary Art and Music Teacher Kathy Frankenberg, an organizer of the Ranger Recess Walking Club, noted the club was an idea of Superintendent Kim Waterman’s and said the club helps fight obesity and limits bullying during recess.

“Enjoyment of staying fit, staying healthy, building confidence,” she said of what she hopes the students get from participating in the Ranger Recess Walking Club.

She noted she would like to expand the club to include fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students in the future.