NORTH LIBERTY– Kids, staff and parents at several Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) schools ran for their lives on Oct. 7.
They walked, jogged, and skipped, too.
They were participants in the statewide kick-off of Governor Terry Branstad’s initiative for Iowa to become the healthiest state in the nation. In August, Branstad announced his plan to make Iowa the healthiest state within five years, as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®. The Healthiest State Initiative is a statewide effort intended to encourage citizens throughout the state to improve their overall health and well-being through a variety of activities, programs and pledges. Oct. 7 was designated as the initiative’s Start Somewhere Walk. Communities, neighborhoods, schools, businesses and other organizations were invited to walk at least 1 kilometer (about seven or eight blocks, or .62 miles) to demonstrate their support for the Healthiest State initiative.
At Garner Elementary School in North Liberty, the entire student body and staff walked or jogged outside together to join in the kick-off event.
Physical education teacher Karen Bagby said about 487 kids and adults walked for about 15 to 20 minutes around the school’s playgrounds. Garner kids invited West High School cross country runners to join them.
West High runner Bailey Weatherell said he came because he thought it would be fun to encourage the Garner students.
“Besides, it’s a really nice day,” Weatherell said.
Daniel Gardarsson, also a cross-country runner from West High, said he approved of the initiative.
“It’s good to get kids to be active and support running,” he said.