by Lorraine Payette, written October 8, 2013
(SWEET’S CORNERS, ON) – Sweet’s Corners Elementary School has heart. Lots of heart. Not only are most of its students involved in getting themselves into better physical condition, but they all want to reach out to help others as well.
On September 26, the school held its annual Terry Fox Run which raised over $225 for the cause. Students learned a lot about Terry and his dream, and were excited to not only do this run, but to share that they had also participated in a cross country run at the Rideau High School with students from other schools in the Upper Canada District School Board.
“They all ran for different reasons,” said Mrs. Diane Norris, teacher at Sweet’s Corners. “Although it was a competition, we didn’t go in thinking we’d win. We went to do our best.”
And they certainly did do their very best. The peewee girls’ team finished in fifth place, and the top runners were awarded ribbons.
“The way things are scored in cross country is your top four runners are scored, so there are four ribbons,” said Norris. “Out of 100 runners in the entire meet, Emma finished third, which was a tremendous accomplishment. She was only ten seconds behind the first place winner.”
Hannah, Joy, Destiny and Emma were the ribbon recipients for the team and commended for their great accomplishment. Nearly half the school was on the cross country team, and applauded for their efforts. Two students were also praised for their excellent sportsmanship and determination. Jacey stood near the woods and encouraged a student who might not have been able to finish otherwise, while Brayden continued on even though he wasn’t feeling his best. This is an important lesson, and something these students are especially proud of.
“Winning is not always what it’s about,” said Norris. “Today is about going out and participating. Everyone wins. There’s no extra credit, we do this because we can, and because it will help.”
Many of the students were also collecting distance toward their personal goal of completing a marathon. While not run all at once, they have been running laps and accumulating tokens to show how far they’ve come in order to achieve that distance goal. This run helped add to that mileage as well as helping them raise money for Terry Fox.
“The students have been given a challenge over the next 6 – 8 weeks to run a full marathon,” said Lacy Melrose, grade 5/6 teacher. “We’ve explained to them that every day Terry Fox ran a full marathon of 42 kilometres, so we’ve challenged them in that way that if he could do it every day, they could do it in six weeks. So every day, at recess and sometimes throughout gym class, they each grab a slip of paper and a tag them for how many laps they’ve done of the track. Then we convert it into kilometres and keep a tally, and they earn incentive tokens along the way. After five kilometres they get a chain, and after every five after that they get a little token – a runner or a sneaker or a little sweat bed, things like that. Almost every student in the entire school is participating. Every day they’re increasing just how far they can go. It’s fantastic.”
There are hopes that Mackenna Modler, founder of Mackenna’s Dream, can be invited out in the future to talk to the students. As someone close to their own age who lives with cancer, it is believed she will be a true inspiration to them.