Running for a Cause

  This page is dedicated to fitness and fundraising. We can all agree that children today lead a more sedentary lifestyle now than in any period in our history. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old are overweight or obese -- a number that has tripled since 1980. Childhood obesity can lead to a host of physical problems later in life.

   Although standards vary from state to state, school systems are not able to give the children as much exercise and recess time as they used to in 60’s and 70’s. This plan will motivate children to get additional exercise while raising money for a worthy cause and having a good time in the process.

  Let me give you several examples of how this could work. Take the month of March and a classroom of 24 children. These children are told about a challenge where they will be engaging in physical activity every day for one month, (length of activity can vary according to age or ability). Based on the preferences of the teacher/coach the term “physical activity” can be more well-defined. I would propose that an agreement to engage in any physical activity is worthwhile, so maybe a little less structure would be better, after all , we want the children to enjoy themselves and develop good habits with regard to exercise.  

  Here is how this program ties in with what I am doing. These children have to write about their experiences daily. If your children have email or internet they could blog about it. This would allow them to have a group of supporters that would be anticipating the blog/email. If the post didn’t arrive, the support group could call or email the child to ask them if they were still planning on posting their activity. This would provide the nudge to get them started and stay the course. If internet is not practical, you could use a ledger or notebook.  

   Writing and/or keyboarding skills would improve. The physical requirement to perform something every day would help to instill discipline and introduce them to making a commitment to engage in consistent efforts.

   Notice that I haven’t mentioned fundraising yet. If you want to kick it up a notch you can have the children obtain sponsors for each day. If a teenager found a sponsor for each day and charged the amount that corresponds with the day of the month, the child would raise $465.00 in 30 days. That would cover most of the big activities that kids encounter in school, (I.e, band instrument, baseball camp, trip to Disney Land).

 In order for the sponsoring party to obtain advertising value, the child could wear the shirt of the company or individual that is sponsoring them. Sound familiar?

 Parents don’t wait for the school to recommend this program. You can set up a similar program with your child. You set the reward and the activity, or better yet, you commit to participating with your child for 30 days.

  Finally, if you like this program and want me to participate with you on any day or days, I will gladly wear your school shirt, blog about it, post it on my web page. If you try this program, let me know how it worked for you and share it with us all. Enjoy life!


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