SES students hope to be part of world record run
by Aziza Jackson
Alabama is one of four states in the nation that has an adult obesity rate over 30 percent, according to the Institute for America’s Health.

Both Alabama and Mississippi come in at 31.2 percent, West Virginia is at 31.1 percent, and Tennessee is at 30.2 percent.

But thanks to an initiative called Run for the Planet, students at Sycamore Elementary School have been inspired to do something good for their health and the environment.

Run for the Planet supports first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, which encourages people to get healthy and active.

“I am proud of our students participating in the Run for the Planet event,” said Sycamore Elementary School Principal Michelle Head.

“This is one of many ways our students and faculty focus on healthy habits for the mind and body. We will know soon if our students were part of the 100-meter world record breaking history.”

Head said that Sycamore Elementary is a model school for the WAY program, an initiative of the Institute for America’s Health which stands for “Wellness, Academics & You.”

With the partnership between IAH’s WAY program and National Geographic Kids, model schools were given the opportunity to participate and host the Run for the Planet 100 meter runs.

While any school can host an event, model schools are given the unique benefit of having IAH coordinators organize, execute and document the events, making it less intrusive to the school day.

Students laced up their running shoes on Oct. 26 with their sights set on breaking the Guinness World Records® title for the most people to run 100 meters in 24 hours.

To break the record, more than 5,000 people worldwide had to run 100 meters between noon, eastern time, on Oct. 26 and noon, eastern time, on Oct. 27.

Head said that she and her students are anxiously awaiting the results.

National Geographic Kids is also trying to break the Guinness World Records® title for the longest chain of shoes that will be recycled into athletic surfaces. The deadline to submit one pair or several pairs of shoes is Nov. 9.

IAH’s WAY program is aligned with curriculum requirements and state-educational standards.

It is designed for elementary students (K-5) and integrates an interactive wellness program into the core classroom curriculum.

WAY embeds nutrition education and physical activity in an approach that motivates and assists students in maintaining and improving their health, preventing disease and reducing risky health-related behaviors (e.g., tobacco and substance abuse).

At the same time, WAY educates students about nutrition and provides them with health-literacy resources and critical thinking skills to help them become smart decision makers, leading to lifelong healthy habits.

The program also supports healthy lifestyles outside the classroom by sponsoring school-based gardens, salad bars and other health projects.

For more information about Run for the Planet, visit

Contact Aziza Jackson at

© 2012