Pinellas school kicks off run club - WFLA News Channel 8

Pinellas school kicks off run club

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

At 9 a.m. on a Friday and dozens of kids are running as fast as they can around a field at Calvin Hunsinger School in Clearwater. Mixed in are some firefighters in full gear. As part of tradition, on the first day of running club, teachers and firefighters join the kids on their run. The adults get decked out in firefighting gear, making their run even more difficult, and hopefully, getting the kids excited for a year of running.

"I get so excited because I get to get out there," fifth grader Cheyenne Blackman said. "I just like being active and being outside."

About 10 years ago, a teacher Mary Stewart Wong started the run club. On the last Friday of every month students run laps and get prizes. It's especially import for the kids at this school to stay active. Hunsinger is a K-12 school with emotional and behavior disabilities.

"Running helps relieve their stress," Stewart Wong said. "They also have a lot of energy and it helps them get that energy out in a healthy appropriate way."

It also boosts confidence. Fifth grader Isaiah Murray says his brother convinced him to join the run club so he could get better at baseball. Now, he just likes winning.

"I got first, second, and third place," Murray said. "That's bronze medal, silver medal, and gold medal."

Stewart Wong gives all the kids a plastic foot for finishing the run, hoping to inspire them to get out there again.

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