Thousands of students pledge to fight the flab

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - They were rocking to a new beat at Three Rivers Elementary School in Harrison County. The students were pumped about their latest challenge.  During a pep rally Wednesday afternoon, they pledged to fight the flab and get fit.

"The state has expressed a concern over the obesity of the students," said their coach Kelly Revelle.  "We have pedometers. They can do all their steps during the day, during the week, and find out how much they actually walked."

To celebrate National Walk to School Day, more than 700 students marched, skipped, and jumped their way to a healthier body. During PE, each class took a few laps around the gym.  And throughout the year, the children will keep track of their progress and earn rewards as an incentive.

"It felt good. I got a lot of energy out of me," said second grader Dalton Cook.  When asked how many steps he has taken so far, Dalton replied "Probably about 10,000."

"It felt good, because I did it for a good cause," said sixth grader Jade McField.

Teachers, parents, even the assistant principal are getting into the exercise groove.  Marlin Ryland took 5,886 steps in just one day.

"That's pretty good. I'm surprised," he said.  "I love it. I'm actually really having a lot of fun with it. I tell the students 'You better watch out.  I'm coming through and you better keep up with me.'"

By the end of the day, the entire school logged a total of 16,000.  That's about eight miles.

"They have no clue they're exercising," said the coach. "That's what we want.  The more healthy you are, the more active you are, the better your mind works."

As part of the program, every semester, the school will devote a week just for walking exercises.

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