Monday, June 19, 2006


One of my favorite things about being a teacher is that there is a clear starting point and ending point to each year: a time to set new goals, evaluate how you did, then try again. With my move to a new school, the opportunities seem endless. One of these opportunities is the possibility of coaching track.

Today I came across an article about Students Run L.A. (SRLA), a program in Los Angeles schools that works with middle and high school students to help them complete a marathon. The statistics for the program are amazing. In the L.A. Unified School District, 68 percent of incoming freshmen graduate from high school, compared to 90 percent of those who participate in SRLA. This statistic has been fairly consistent over the 17 years of the program. And this year, an astonishing 2,500 students ran in City of Los Angeles Marathon, 10% of the entire field.

The students that are participating are those that are often most "at risk." I think about my own students, and what a boost of self confidence and goal-setting skills completing a marathon would provide.

With my current spirit of anticipation for next year, each page of the article got my mind rolling faster and faster. I kept asking myself, "Why isn't there something like this in New York?" It didn't take much more reading to find the New York Road Runners Foundation. I'm a member of New York Road Runners and a teacher, yet I had never heard of their program to train kids to run a 10K without stopping.

Suddenly, my own love of running is heading in a new direction. And I'm more excited about that than I have been about anything in a long time.

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