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Advice from a Successful Program - Marina Vista

Advice from a Successful Program - Marina Vista

Brandon Currie, a CSUMB Service Learner and scholarship Baseball player, helping with the Marina Vista elementary school after school program provides the following advice:

The kids really seem to enjoy any type of running we do. We try to keep them moving the entire time and don't want them idle too long. With that in mind, there are some activities they enjoy more than others.

1. For a warm up - we set out soccer balls about 30 feet away from the kids. We have them get into lines of about 4-5 behind one of the soccer balls; there are about 10 soccer balls. If the teams are bigger then they are idle too long between running. Make your teams as small as possible. Each kid, in turn, then runs to the soccer ball and runs around the soccer twice to the right and comes back. They repeat this twice and then go to the left twice.

2. We have the kids line up in a horizontal line in any random order and again have the soccer balls about 30 feet away. We yell out a grade level and the kids all run to the beginning of the soccer balls, they then run over the top of each soccer ball as you go down the line of balls. The key here is organization and team work. The kids have to be able to form the line at the beginning of the balls and make it over each ball without hitting any of them. What makes this exciting for the kids is the competition; we time the kids and reward the winning grade with praise. They then brag about how they won to the rest of the kids.

3. The kids don’t really seem to enjoy running a straight mile, however, when we broke up the mile and made it into long relays they seemed to enjoy it a lot better. You have a group of four kids and you line them up at each corner of the track or designated parts of the field you run on. One of the kids starts with a baton in their hands and they run straight ahead towards their partner and then hand off the baton and wait until it gets back around to them. When the kids race against each other they seem to work harder and have more fun. Also timing them makes them try harder and compare their times from one session to the next. We also mix up the teams so they all get to know each other.

4. In terms of stretching and warm-ups it is always important to get a little jog in before you start stretching. To do this we just take a warm up lap around the field. While stretching we involve the kids with counting. When you do each exercise it is important to get each kid to do the stretch properly and it is important that they do it for a long enough time. By stretching with them, we can show them how things are supposed to be done, then we count aloud and get the kids to do the same thing. We have them yell the count as loud as they can because they seem to really enjoy that.