Nine-year-old Logan Lassiter will finish the third grade having run 200 miles throughout the year during recess at Adams Elementary School.
Lassiter finished those miles Friday during a wellness day at the school.
“I feel like it’s fun to run around and talk with friends,” he said.
Before Lassiter and about 400 other students embarked on a two-kilometer run around the school, representatives from the Oregon Department of Education presented Adams Elementary with a School Wellness Award.
The award, which was created in 2008, recognizes schools for their outstanding efforts to improve child health through the connection between nutrition, physical activity and academic achievement, according to the state education department. Three winners are chosen each year. Adams Elementary is the sixth Corvallis School District school to win the award.
“They were just a star,” said Joyce Dougherty, director of Child Nutrition Programs for the Oregon Department of Education.
The state department also presented Adams Elementary with a $2,500 check from the Oregon Dairy Council, which sponsors the wellness awards.
Lynn Roylance, an education assistant at Adams Elementary and a parent of two children who attend the school, leads the Adams Wellness Team. She said the money will help the school expand its current wellness programs, which include a morning yoga class and an after school fitness club, which are volunteer-run and free for kids. Roylance wants to host quarterly family nights with games such as capture the flag. She’d also like to purchase speedometers for the students.
“Without having a well body and mind, you can’t be successful in school,” she said.
The wellness programs are open to staff and parents, some of whom participated in Friday’s run. After the jaunt, students snacked on marionberry parfaits. Roylance said nutrition is also a key part of the school’s wellness efforts.
“We’re trying to have all the pieces of wellness come together,” she said.
To be eligible for the state wellness award, schools must participate in the National School Lunch Program, Dougherty said. The federally assisted meal program provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children.
Adams Elementary also spends about 25 percent of its food budget on locally produced grains, produce and meats, said Kathy Adair, operations assistant for food and nutrition services at the school. The elementary school invited many of the farms it purchases food from to a farmers market for students, staff and families on school grounds Friday afternoon.
Ten-year-old Marjetta Haapala, a fourth-grader at Adams Elementary, said the school’s wellness day was to help students “stay healthy and for fun.”