Walking Tracks

Elementary schools add walking tracks with $30k grant
Posted on 09/16/2013

Healthier MO Communities completed its most significant investment to date last week in the Poplar Bluff R-I School District—the installation of walking tracks at each of the four elementary schools.

This round of funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—totaling nearly $30,000, with the school contributing only $900—is part of a study being conducted by the Prevention Research Center in St. Louis concerning the correlation between increased physical activity and academic success.

The asphalt walking tracks at Eugene Field, Lake Road, Oak Grove and O’Neal elementaries are 8-feet wide with varying lengths, depending on the size of the schoolyards. Students have already started using the new feature for recess, physical education and special events.

The partnership between Healthier MO and the school district, which has brought in about $50,000 to the school system, began during the 2011/12 academic year, and has spawned the Healthy Living Club, Brain Breaks and a playground at Lake Road. The Butler County Community Resource Council serves as grant administrator over the projects.

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Cutline: Pictured on the walking track at Lake Road are (from left) Beverly Hargrove, Butler County Health Department educator; Jenifer Richardson, Oak Grove principal; Rebeca Vanderburg Pacheco, CRC community coordinator; Patty Robertson, R-I assistant superintendent of curriculum; Karen Crook, CRC executive director; Amy Estlund, Healthier MO project manager; Angie Rideout, O’Neal principal; and Erica Weadon, Lake Road principal. Not pictured is Jennifer Taylor, Eugene Field principal.

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