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Elementary kids journey to moon
 
01/05/2006
When it comes to setting goals, they say aim high.

Oliver Heckman Elementary School in Langhorne aimed real high - all the way to the sky - and still reached its objective.

Members of the Oliver Heckman Striders and Wheelers clubs wanted to get to the moon and back, by way of exercise.

So way back in 1988, perhaps taking a page from Jules Verne's "Journey to the Moon," they began recording their mileage for walking, running, bicycling, skating and scootering during physical activity.

Under the directorship of physical education teacher Richard Grafius, a past president of the Bucks County Roadrunners Club, the 1,250 past and present members recently reached their goal of 477,714 miles, the equivalent of a trip to the moon and back.

Total enrollment for the clubs includes 200 students, 100 parents and 30 staffers.

This was a great idea to encourage children to get out and exercise, both in school and at home. Setting goals is a proven way to provide an incentive.

Students at Heckman racked up much of their mileage by participating in walking programs during recess. They were supplied with pedometers in their physical education classes to keep track of their activity levels.

For each 25 miles, each student received a small plastic bead shaped like a foot and for each 100 miles a certificate of achievement.

The school issued a statement which read: "We congratulate the participants in this program for their continued efforts toward maintaining their health and wellness through participation in this worthwhile program."

To that we add a hearty, Amen.

Faster than Lance?

Imagine biking farther and faster than multi-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

That's what Bucks County cyclist Mitch Lesak plans to do this summer when he participates in his first Race Across America bike race.

www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/131-01052006-593215.html



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