Costa Mesa Community Run Summary

By: Karina Rodriguez Rea Elementary 6th Grade

On Saturday April 18th, 2009 my students participated in the second annual Costa Mesa Community Run. Some of the comments made by my students included: “That was so much fun Ms. Rodriguez; I liked it because I got to run with my friends; I want to do it again next year!” The Community Run is going to be a life time experience for all my students. Several students are speaking about participating in upcoming events similar to the Community Run.

In preparedness for the Costa Mesa Community Run, I took an interdisciplinary approach to teaching in order to incorporate as many subject areas as possible. I first began with fitness and health. I taught students the importance about living a healthy life style by exercising and setting goals. Every week students wrote goals and worked hard to meet them. They began by running one lap around the field and after 15 weeks of training most students were jogging four to seven laps around the field. At this point in our math, we were focusing on customary and metric equivalences. This is when I taught students how to determine how much a 2k and a 5k run would be in miles. At the same time, students learned how to figure out unit rates. Students were dividing their time running by the amount of laps they were running to come up with an average time per lap.

Not only did I incorporate fitness, health, and math, Language Arts and History were also other subjects incorporated in preparedness for the Community Run. Students read “A Kind of Grace” by Jackie Joyner Kersee and learned about the six Olympic medals she won. At this point, we researched the Greek Olympics and discussed how the Olympics started. There was also another selection we read and reflected on. It was titled “The Fastest Human;” a story about gold medalist Jesse Owens, which was included in the test released questions from the California State Test. The students had the opportunity to reflect and learn about people who never gave up.

Even though the Costa Mesa Community Run is over, students in room 13 continue learning and asking questions. As a class, we read the article about Humberto Rojas wining first place at the Community Run from the Daily Pilot. Students were so excited when I told them we both graduated from Estancia High School. Since then, I have invited Humberto Rojas to my class to speak about his experiences at Vanguard University and as a runner. In addition, students have participated in group discussions using Google Groups® and have been writing thank you letters to the people who sponsored them for the community run. As a class, we will be graphing our times using Excel and figuring out time averages. Overall, the Community Run was a great experience because it taught students how to come together as a community to collect funds for education in addition with learning about themselves. ~ The End

Additionally, these kids (and teachers) in the bright red t-shirts (see picture to the left and below) ran in the Costa Mesa Community Run (as part of College Park's Running Club). Every Tuesday approximately 200-300 1st-5th grade students and teachers come out and run laps during their lunch time. They earn a ticket for each lap which is then recorded by their teachers. At the end of the year they have a big assembly where the top runners are recognized. Also, once a month during Running Club, Geoff Ianiello from Nutrition Network comes out and hands out a healthy snack to all the runners.

Last year there were a few students (and teachers) that participated in the Community Run. This year, thanks to Mrs. Kraft's generosity, there were more students that experienced an organized run. College Park's Running Club hopes to continue to encourage and foster a love for exercise and healthy habits in the students.~