Developed by New York Road Runners, Mighty Milers is a structured fitness program in which children run or walk regularly and learn how to integrate healthy habits into their lives. In welcoming Turtle Mountain Community School in Belcourt, ND, Mighty Milers truly became a national youth running program now serving at least one school in each of the 50 states. To celebrate the first year that Mighty Milers programs spanned the entire country and participants logged in excess of two million miles, Mighty Milers students from P.S. 128 in New York City were joined by Director Peter Orszag of the White House Office of Management and Budget on behalf of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative.
“In this era of childhood obesity, getting kids moving regularly is critically important,” says NYRR Youth and Community Services Executive Director Cliff Sperber. “Mighty Milers served children in more than 350 U.S. schools and community centers and taught them lessons for life. Our goal is to instill the healthy habit of running, and by doing so improve fitness, combat obesity, and build self-esteem and character—vital components of a quality education.”
Teachers who implement the program believe in its results. “In my school, the kids in the Mighty Milers program are the role models and leaders. The other students look up to them and the teachers say they are the best behaved. The talk in the hallways is about how many laps they’ve run, what prizes they’ve won, and how close they are to their goals. They are really proud of their accomplishments. As a teacher, I can’t tell you how refreshing this is,” says Rosetta Graham, a teacher at P.S. 59 in Brooklyn.
Mighty Milers continues to make exciting strides beyond its service numbers. “We support our sites with robust resources,” says Mighty Milers Senior Manager Sue Morris. “We’ve helped schools raise thousands of dollars with the Mighty Milers Fitness Fundraiser, and in September our new, free coaching resource, A Running Start, will debut online for anyone who wants to teach kids the fundamentals of running.”
School and community centers can learn more about Mighty Milers or apply online to join at http://www.nyrrf.org/programs/mighty_milers/apply.asp.
To see the most recent school-year highlights from New York Road Runners’ youth programs, visit http://www.nyrrf.org/about/highlights.asp.
New York Road Runners
Headquartered in New York City, New York Road Runners is dedicated to advancing the sport of running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and meeting our community’s needs. Our goal is to use the expertise acquired in our 52-year history to empower all people to live fitter, healthier lives through participation in our races, community events, instruction and training resources, and youth programs. Our races and other events draw more than 300,000 people each year. The ING New York City Marathon, NYRR’s premier event, is the largest and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting the world’s top professional runners every year and raising nearly $25 million for charity in 2009. NYRR’s running-based youth programs, which currently serve more than 100,000 children in hundreds of schools and community centers, promote children’s health and fitness, character development, and personal achievement in underserved communities. For more information, visit www.nyrr.org.