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Midvale Journal

East Midvale Elementary places importance on fitness

Jun 22, 2017 10:04AM ● By Julie Slama

East Midvale Principal Justin Pitcher leads the students on a 1-mile fun run to help raise funds for the school. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama   |   [email protected]
Kindergartner Diego Arellanes outsprinted his principal to be the first East Midvale Elementary student to finish the 1-mile school fun run.
“It’s fun, especially beating my principal,” he said. “It felt fast—faster than when I practiced running around in my neighborhood.”
The fourth annual fun run on May 5 was designed to be both an opportunity for about 600 East Midvale students to be physically fit as well as to raise funds for the school, said Principal Justin Pitcher.
“I run with the kids to not only make sure they finish, but to motivate them and show we care,” said Pitcher, who ran the race with all six grades that attend the school. “We want them to have a healthy lifestyle and this also gives the kids an opportunity to help earn field trips for next year.”
Pitcher said that the school goal was to raise $5,000 for the field trips through pledges supporting the students in the fun run. 
Field trips tie into the core curriculum for each level and allow students to visit nearby sites such as the Hogle Zoo, Clark Planetarium, Red Butte Gardens and Hill Air Force Base, said Wendy Court, Parent-Teacher Association co-president.
“With our volunteers coordinating the fun run, all of our money goes to our school,” she said.
Pitcher said during the event, several parents are there to volunteer and support their children.
“We have a great showing of families and neighbors cheering these kids on. They also are active in our fitness night,” he said.
The fitness night, which was the night prior, had fitness stations included hula hoops, basketball, soccer clinic, Just Dance, human bowling, United Fire obstacle course and others. The information booths included tables about nutrition, bike safety, health clinics, child ID program and others.
“It’s a great cooperative program between these two events and the community,” school community facilitator Shelley McCall said. “We want families participating in fitness and healthy eating as well as engaged in our school activities.”
McCall also pointed out that the fitness night gives families a chance to learn more about healthy options available for them in the community.
Court and co-president Lesley Baer arranged several area organizations and businesses to support the events.
“It’s a fun event that is a segue into the fun run, both which we appreciate the families and community support,” Court said.  “The students get a chance to interact with the fire fighters during the fitness night, the police who help with the run and others who support the East Midvale community.”
She also said that on the school’s news program, students received tips about healthy eating practices and about getting a good night’s sleep before the run.
Parent RJ Graham was one of several family members who lined the race.
“All my daughter has talked about for weeks is this run,” he said about his fourth-grade daughter, Jayden. “It’s fun for them and cool for them to see the police and fire department out supporting them. She really doesn’t like to run; she’s a dancer. But this is so fun to run with her friends, she looks forward to it.”