Local school runs 20,000 miles with major grant
Posted on 01/18/2017
Coaches say the key is to get kids who want to make a healthy change in their lives and let them be the coach.

These days it often seems as though technology makes it tougher to get kids moving. But one local middle school has worked to fix this problem and in the process has become one of the healthiest schools in the nation.

"Everybody starts at their own level," Guadelupe Martinez, P.E. coach at Baker Middle School, told KRIS 6 News. "Nobody's perfect on day one. So start wherever you feel comfortable and you'll get better as you go."

Schools nationwide are walking and running to collectively reach one billion miles. As of now, the nation's already at 50 million miles.  

New Balance Foundation started the program as a way to help fight childhood obesity in schools. Close to two million children in over 7,000 schools have joined the movement since fall of 2015. And Baker Middle School has made its mark. 

"Once you get them out there, and they're like, 'hey I can do this! it's not as hard as I thought it was!'" P.E. coach Nelda Jasso explained.
They've logged an impressive 20,000 miles.

"I mean even us coaches, we bonded more from it, and just seeing everybody be active and healthy which is awesome, cause it leads to a healthier world," Martinez added.

They received a Fun Run grant which they will use for their entire community.

"We're able to put on a little Fun Run, or a walk which we're going to start today, like walk across Texas, and we'll incorporate it, the finale will be the 832 miles that it takes to walk across Texas and we'll have a little celebration," Jasso said. 

They say the key is to get kids excited about running as a community. "It's not so stressful and not so much pressure to have to run a certain time or certain distance," Jasso said. 

And since Baker is recognized as one of America's healthiest schools, applying for the grant was that much easier.

When it comes to tracking extra miles, they've got a secret weapon: Mile Monday. It's before P.E. even starts.

Add in all their other sports and it's a lot of movement and a lot of mileage.

Coaches say the key is to get kids who want to make a healthy change in their lives and let them be the coach.

"Have them just go spread the message, let them be the messengers," Jasso said. 

Then, it's all about one keyword: "Persistence," Jasso continued. "It pays off,"

There are 26 schools in Corpus Christi that are part of the program. You can learn more about how to get your school involved by visiting http://www.billionmilerace.org/