Here are the answers to many of the most commonly asked questions about Mighty Milers:
Mighty Milers is a school and community-based program that instills the daily habit of running and/or walking for physical fitness and overall health in elementary and middle school children.
Schools and community centers provide students the opportunity to run or walk at least 2-5 times a week. Children set goals to run and/or walk 26.2 to 104.8 miles (one to four marathons) over the course of the school year and earn rewards for reaching milestones along the way. Classes can earn incentives as well.
Mighty Milers can be done in as little as 15 minutes a day Each participant must be given the opportunity to complete at least two half-mile running/walking sessions per week to be considered for the program.
It is designed to be integrated into the school day. It can provide classes with a fun, focusing, fitness break; make recess time productive and orderly; supplement or become a school's physical education program; and also be done before or after school.
The program runs from August to June. Programs must be enrolled by October 12 and start running by the first week of November. If you miss the October deadline, you may be eligible to pilot Mighty Milers in the spring of 2013.
To be eligible for the program, a site must include at least 50 students in Mighty Milers, however we encourage the entire school to get involved with Mighty Milers.
Each student must run/walk a minimum of half a mile at least two days each week, moving towards the program goal of at least one marathon of miles (26.2) per student, and preferably two marathons of miles (52.4) or more, for the school year.
Schools qualify for a free Mighty Milers program if 50% or more of the student population is eligible for free or reduced price lunch (FRPL*).
*FRPL percentage is the ratio of students within a given school who are eligible for Free or Reduced Price Lunch. Administrators at your school will be able to tell you what your school’s FRPL percentage is. You can also check the NCES website.
While we ask that one person from each school/organization serve as the Site Coordinator and take on the role of overseeing the program and communicating with NYRR, we encourage multiple faculty/staff members to get involved.
Anyone from a classroom teacher to a recess aid can become a Mighty Milers Session Leader and assist in running the program. Session Leaders are responsible for supervising students while running, tracking laps run, and entering mileage updates into STRIDES, our online tracking platform.
You must have support from your principal or director before implementing the program. The principal or director and the site coordinator will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the start of each school year.
STRIDES is a web-based program management system used to track student progress. Students, teachers and principals have access to STRIDES through a username and password.
The Mighty Milers program gives kids the opportunity and encouragement to get moving and release energy constructively. Kids improve their aerobic fitness, set and strive for individual goals, and bond with their classmates by achieving collective targets.
The program also helps improve focus and behavior in the classroom, raise academic performance and test scores, and it meets the state-mandated physical education standards for total number of physical activity minutes per week.
Ultimately, Mighty Milers teaches students the enjoyment, importance and habit of physical activity as a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.
Mighty Milers enables schools/organizations with little or no P.E. assets to have a physical activity program. NYRR provides full support, including training, equipment, online progress tracking and incentive management, as well as a Regional Coordinator (NYRR staff member) assigned to support your program. The Regional Coordinator is there to provide assistance and support when needed.
Students recieve a membership card in the beginning, and earn certificates along the way. At each marathon of miles (26.2, 52.4, 78.6 and 104.8) they will receive a special medal. Classes receive a "Congratulations!" poster at collective milestones of 500, 1000 and 2500 miles. Additional incentive packages which include items such as pencils, stickers and T-shirts can also be purchased.
Kids love for teachers, principals, and administrators to run with them and we encourage adults to participate in the program, too. Session Leaders who track their own mileage in STRIDES will also be sent special incentives for meeting their goals.
Progress towards goals is automatically calculated and incentives are sent out to schools on a weekly basis.
No, as long as you have principal support, anybody who is willing to take on the role of the Site Coordinator can implement the program at a site.
Yes! Parents are encouraged to serve as volunteers at the school and help with the program logistics. Happily, many students bring the habit of running home with them and get their family involved in running as well.
If your school is not currently involved, talk to the principal at the school, introduce him/her to Mighty Milers and request they apply for the program. Your willingness to regularly assist staff might be the difference in MIghty Milers being a success at your kid's school.
Mighty Milers is a great way to add physical activity to your school’s curriculum and help the school reach the state standards for the number of minutes per week each child is required to participate in physical education.
Sessions can be run in various locations including the gym, cafeteria, auditorium, playground, school block, hallways, etc. Many of our most successful sites have been very creative in finding a safe place for their kids to participate.
Community Centers may apply for the program, but must meet the same eligibility requirements listed above. They can use the same FRPL statistic assigned to the local school.
Many schools have Adaptive Physical Education students participate in Mighty Milers with great success.
The amount of time varies based on the size of your school and the number of additional personnel at the school who are committed to Mighty Milers. After the initial set-up, which may take up to a few hours, the Mighty Milers program can take as little as fifteen minutes of administrative work per week. This does not include the time spent in actual Mighty Milers sessions with the children which can be as little as fifteen minutes each.
NYRR does not pay school personnel to implement the program, so you would need to speak to your principal or director about the possibility of getting paid through the school.
The Mighty Milers program is designed for elementary and middle-school students. However, a number of Pre-K and K kids enjoy running in Mighty Milers workouts. We recommend starting the younger runners with a quarter mile run. Mighty Milers is not currently available for high school students.
All new sites receive a Start-Up Kit from NYRR that contains everything you should need, including:
• A motivational DVD for staff and kids
• Flyers to post in the school or community
• An oversized Mighty Milers school banner
• Mileage Meter posters to track class or group progress
• A measuring wheel to measure your course
• Cones to mark your course
• Sample incentives to motivate your students
At the beginning of each program year, all student mileage is reset to zero for a fresh start, but the total mileage run from the prior year before will be saved.
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