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New Run Club Takes Off At RLA
Several students at the Riverbank Language Academy are participating in the new RLA Dolphins Run Club, which will use a barcode card with their name, grade, and teacher to track their progress. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS


The Running Committee is ramping up the physical activity at Riverbank Language Academy (RLA) for all students in Transitional Kindergarten through eighth grade. The effort is aimed at students that would like to engage in some rigorous activity with set goals as part of the new RLA Dolphins Running club.

RLA teachers Lilianna Valdovinos and Hilda Vigil, along with parent volunteer Melissa Hanson, saw a basic need for kids to get outdoors and be active.

“The running club is a great way to get the kids active because anybody can participate and you don’t have to run, you can walk and you are able to run it anytime,” stated Hanson. “We provide incentives to the students so it gives them something to shoot for.”

This past week, RLA had an assembly to kick off the new Running Club movement where the kids were challenged to collectively run equal the distance across the United States this 2015-16 school year. Basically each student would have to run five miles so the student body together could reach the goal. If the students reach their goal the teachers will engage in a friendly foot race for them. The mileage of the entire school will be tracked as they try to reach the goal of ‘running across America’ – or approximately 2,292 miles.

“The kids thought that was great (foot race between the teachers),” added Hanson. “It is just a good way to get them excited.”

The participants of the Run Club will also be treated to popcorn parties for the class that has the most miles for each month.

“So the kids are competing with each of the classrooms,” expressed Hanson. “And the students will get individual awards and those are not competitive awards so each student has an opportunity to earn a toe tag and a little necklace with charms they can collect.”

The first day of the club was on Friday, Sept. 18 where several students participated in the activity to help reach their goal.

Each student that is a member of the run club received a card with a barcode on it, their name, grade and teacher on it so that progress can be tracked.

After each lap that a member completes they will take their card to a parent or teacher, who will scan their card that will be downloaded to the Stride Track software, which is a web based run club management software.

This system will generate reports that will include the amount of miles each class has completed as well as individual progress. The software will also have the cumulative miles for the entire school.

Students and parents will be able to view their own personal progress on any device that can access the Internet.

A track has been set up on the RLA campus on the field and each student will be awarded for every five miles, half marathons (13.1 miles) and marathon (26.2 miles) completed at the Sense of Community Assembly.

There are no fees, no requirements, no uniforms, or experience necessary. All students are encouraged to partake in this new club. The club meets during school hours and the students will be supervised at all times.

“We will not stop,” stated Hanson. “As long as we have kids participating there will be someone here scanning their cards.

“Encourage your children and be positive about it. If you have a good attitude about physical activity then your child will have one, too.”