Do I have to run the program every day?
Well, yes. That’s what separates us from other programs. We invite every child to participate every day, at no fee. We are not training kids specifically for one race. We are working to teach the lifelong habit of starting almost every day with moderate to vigorous exercise. The good news? Once you launch your Morning Mile program, you’ll see how ridiculously easy it is to implement and manage … and you may feel a bit silly for questioning whether you should do it every day or not!
Do I have to include all kids?
Well, yes! Excluding anyone is not what we’re about. Can you imagine how sad it would feel for a child or parent if you said “no, you’re not invited to come walk or run with us”. That … would not be beneficial to anyone. Good news? You’ll never have 100% of your student body show up on one day. It will NEVER overwhelm you. Trust us, we’ve done this in almost 200 schools for six years. Zero programs have been cancelled because too many kids showed up.
Do kids have to do one mile?
No way, Jose. The Morning Mile has nothing to do with one mile. We provide a 30-minute chunk of time in which kids and families are welcome to join in at any time. Show up on time, come late or leave early. It’s all OKAY! Show up when you can, stay as long as you can and do as much as you can. It’s all celebrated.
Can I cancel for rain or snow?
OF COURSE! Cold wet kids are not a great recipe for success in school. If the weather is horrible and you don’t have a place indoors to use, cancel! Life goes on. Your Morning Mile guidebook will have suggestions for indoor alternatives though.
How many adults do we need to manage this thing?
You’ll need one warm-blooded responsible adult. It could be a teacher. It could be one parent volunteer. It could be 5-10 adults who each take one day a week or every two weeks. Whatever works for you, works for us. Plus, the menial tasks involved with managing the program each day can all be done by the older or more responsible students in your school. Have a safety patrol? Great! This is a wonderful way to give them real responsibility and a productive job to do.
How much effort does it take to manage The Morning Mile?
Very little! It’s amazing how little effort the adults have to make, compared to the output the kids generate. We have some Morning Mile coordinators who do little more than bring out the stereo, and yell “go”. The kids then take control and do the simple tasks involved. It’s really an effortless experience on behalf of the adults in charge.
Can parents participate?
YES! At The Morning Mile, we say “y’all come!” We want families to join in. It’s a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle for the family unit, while encouraging quality time. As well, when parents and grandparents are doing laps … they naturally help other kids when necessary. If little Suzie trips and falls, Bobby’s daddy can pick her up, tie her shoelaces and help her get moving again.
Do we need a track?
Absolutely not! You can use whatever safe area you already traditionally use for P.E. or recess. Many schools create loops around a grassy field or even around a playground. Some even use shared property with other schools or city parks. Some kids have to do 15 laps to cover a mile. Some kids have to do only two laps to cover a mile. Just make sure your area is safe, safe and safe.
Should I give out awards more often than every five or 100 miles?
I wouldn’t. The five-mile marker is short enough for kids to stay frequently congratulated without taking their sneaker charms for granted. Kids who earn charms for every mile tend to not value them as much. Plus, more charms equals more work for adults.
Can we call The Morning Mile “running club”?
No! It’s a trademarked, branded program, which needs to be called by name. The Morning Mile. As well, “Running Club” makes folks feel like they have to run, which may be intimidating. The word “club” makes it sound exclusive. The Morning Mile is INCLUSIVE! We welcome every child of every ability. Walkers are welcomed, as are kids in wheelchairs. The Morning Mile is the name and it stands for much more than just exercising in the morning.
What if we have bus riders?
Almost all of our schools do. Just let the kids join in as they arrive. No biggie.
What if we have free or reduced breakfast eaters?
Almost all of our schools do. Just let the kids join in as they finish breakfast. No biggie.
How do we get parents to volunteer?
Send a note home, make a phone call or make the ask over the internet. Also, we highly recommend asking those moms who show up each day in yoga pants. They are a likely target, because they’re obviously invested in both their children and fitness! I know this, because I am one of those moms who show up to drop-off in yoga pants.
How do we show appreciation for our sponsor?
Excellent question! Your sponsor is clearly passionate about both education and healthy living, so please show you are passionate about them. As part of your partnership agreement, you’re obligated to hang the beautiful outdoor Morning Mile banner we will provide you, recognizing your sponsor and their logo. However, there are many ways to go above and beyond to show your appreciate in return. We recommend thanking them publicly on your school web site, Facebook page and in your school newsletters. When you recognize students for accomplishing great things, take the opportunity to thank your sponsor. If you have media come visit your Morning Mile program, make sure they know who funded it. And if you share photos of your Morning Milers on our Morning Mile Facebook page – we’ll recognize them for you! And … when it comes to being grateful, a sweet phone call goes a long way and a HUGE thank you poster signed by your students would likely hang in a place of honor at your sponsors office.
Do the kids have to wear anything special?
Nope! They can come in school clothes or whatever makes them feel comfortable. Students who go the route of running hard will eventually decide that they need to show up in quality running shoes and comfortable running clothes. Lots of kids are walking and jogging in loafers, boots, skirts and ties! They’re kids, so they don’t fuss about things like we adults do.
What if our kids get sweaty?
Most kids don’t have much of an issue with this. Early mornings are not so hot and most kids are working incredibly hard. Think about it, kids get mildly sweaty at recess too and it’s no big deal. If your hard core Morning Milers sweat through their clothes or smell a bit, just encourage them to bring a fresh shirt or outfit to change in to. They may also bring a wash cloth and deodorant to freshen up. Simple measures work wonders.