PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The 9th Annual Ram Run kicked off early Friday morning.
Public Relations Director for the Paragould School District Tori Thompson said they want to promote a healthy lifestyle in their students.
"Health and wellness is a priority at the Paragould School District," Thompson said. "Having the kids come out and exercise with their families helps promote that. As we all know, students who feel better perform better inside and outside the classroom. So, we want to show our students and our families that you can have fun and be healthy and in return that will help you in the class, the community, at church, so we really just promote health and wellness."
Parent Gene Mcilvoi has two daughters that attend the Paragould School District.
His eldest, Anna, is in the 9th grade and his youngest, Liza, is in the 2nd grade.
Mcilvoi said he was very impressed with the Ram Run event.
"I think it's great," Mcilvoi said. "I told my wife when we walked it, this is amazing. You couldn't have had a better day for it. When we were kids we used to have a field day at the end of the school year. It was the time you went out and ran races and hung out with your friends and it was a break from the school work and I think they need this. They're having a great time. They're not sitting in a classroom on a beautiful day. They're not sitting in front of a computer or staring at a phone. I think it's great. I'm a fan of it. I'm for it."
Kindergarten through fourth-grade students put down their pencils and books and hit the track.
"It's a way in our school district that we promote health and wellness between our families and our students," Thompson said. "We want them to learn that living a healthy life can be fun."
Thompson said they have a variety of activities for the children to choose from.
"We do a fifteen-minute walk or run around the track," Thompson said. "Then after we get done doing that we have lots of activities out on the center of the football field they can play. We have volleyball, soccer, hula hoops, jump rope and it's just a way to get parents involved with their students and realize that you can have fun and be healthy."
2nd-grade student Kayden Chambers said he had a blast at this year's Ram Run.
"I'm having a lot of fun," Chambers said. "I've been playing football with the big kids."
"Liza is having a great time," Mcilvoi said. "She's out there jumping rope. She did some running too and she's pretty active when she's not thinking about it. And she's having a good time and that's what matters. The kids are having a blast.
Thompson said their many volunteers help to make the event even bigger and better for the kids.
"We have hundreds of parent volunteers," Thompson said. "This year we have a lot of local volunteers from the community who have come out who are helping us with our volunteer tables and helping us sell t -shirts. We also have a lot of student volunteers from our high school. We have our Rotary Interact Club whose come out today and several student athletes who have come and are interacting with the students and are walking, running and playing with them in the middle of the football field. So, it's just a great day for our school district."
Both parents and students recommend other schools look to the Paragould School District as an example of what they could be doing for their own kids.
"If you're not doing it, I would encourage you to," Mcilvoi said. "It's great, it's a reward for the kids and it's a reward for the teachers I would think, as well. Sometimes there are rewards outside of the classroom and seeing the kids having a good time, that's definitely. . .it gives back."
Chambers said other schools should use the Paragould School Districts Ram Run as an example.
"I think other schools should do it," Chambers said. "So their kids can have fun like us."
Around 1,500 people participated in this year's Ram Run.
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