Club at Orondo keeps kids active

Kids and volunteers of the Run and Other Fun Club at Orondo School. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)


By Darlene Paterson
Empire Press Correspondent

Yvonne Ramirez of WSU Extension speaks to the Run and Other Fun Club about healthy lifestyle choices. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)

If you drove by Orondo School between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons in October, you may have seen a group of third to fifth grade children running laps or participating in various activities on the sports field.

They were participating?in the Run and Other Fun Club.

Adult volunteers Allison Podlich, Jenna Knight and Justin Dennis kept the students busy in various activities designed to keep their minds and bodies healthy and active.

?We have found that, after being inside studying all day, the kids are ready for some outdoor movement,? Podlich said. ?We do about six different activities each afternoon. If they start getting bored with one thing, we always have something else ready.?

The idea for this club originally started with Principal Lance Young.?He inquired about Girls on the Run, a nationwide?nonprofit program that encourages pre-teen girls to develop healthy lifestyles through interactive lessons and running.

He then found out only women could lead groups and he put the idea on the back burner. Later a community member heard about Girls on the Run and approached?Orondo School about starting a group there. As a result, Allison Podlich was recruited to explore the possibility of starting Girls on the Run at Orondo.

?After researching the structure, cost, and curriculum of the national program, we decided it would better meet the needs of our population to do our own version of the program,? Podlich said. ?We started the first Run and Other Fun Club in October of 2017 with 12 girls. We also ran the club for a month last spring.”

?This fall we decided to expand the program to include boys from the same grades,? she continued. ?The 27 kids who signed up included all of the girls who participated last year, one new girl and about an equal number of guys who wanted to participate.?

Activities of Run and Other Fun Club include running lap challenges, active games, a service project and educational activities with guest speakers. Homemade snacks are also served during each club event. The club did weeding around the school for?its service project.

Yvonne Ramirez with the WSU Extension program was the featured guest speaker on Oct. 16. After a half hour of outside games, the children gathered in a classroom where Ramirez presented a program about healthy lifestyle choices. Various activities interspersed throughout the presentation kept the kids involved and participating.

Following her presentation, the kids took a break for hand washing before returning to the field where Ramirez served snacks. She also handed out bookmarks and recipe books containing healthy lifestyle recipes. Another half hour of active play completed the day?s activities.

At the school?s annual Bingo Night on Nov. 2, the club will sponsor a costume fun run around the track from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Lanterns will light the field and glow sticks will be provided to runners. Everyone in the community is invited to participate or?watch at the event.

For further information about activities and events at Orondo School, check out?its Facebook page?at?