INDIANAPOLIS – The children at three Treasure Valley elementary schools in Boise, ID were given an early Halloween treat last week when Olympic gold medalist Ashton Eaton made a special appearance to demonstrate the USATF Foundation’s Run With US! program.
Thanks to the USATF Foundation and Health Teacher, the interactive game Run With US! is bringing physical activity right into classrooms across America. In each Run With US! event, Olympic athletes show students skills and techniques that can be completed while standing next to a desk.
Each Run With US! classroom break lasts 3-5 minutes as kids exercise along with track & field stars on video. Research shows this activity is not only great exercise but has a positive impact on student engagement, behavior, and achievement.
Amity Elementary student Isaac Niederer testified to the enjoyment of the game and the javelin, in particular, “I’ve always thought like, I don’t think I would be able to do that, but it seems like it would be fun.”
Eaton won the gold medal in the decathlon at the London Olympics in 2012 and is one of 10 track & field stars featured in the Run With US! game.
“Being able to interact with kids in a way that they are later talking about with their friends is pretty cool,” said Eaton. “I just heard one kid yell to another that he got 12 feet in the long jump.”
The USATF Foundation expects to employ more track & field stars in 2014 as they plan to bring the game to even more school districts. The Run With US! game, as part of Health Teacher’s GoNoodle suite of brain break games, is currently being used in over 9,000 schools throughout the U.S.