Stories And Inspiration
Minnesota Students Learn More Than Running in GO FAR ProgramSubmitted by Anonymous on Sep 18th 2014 - 8:00AM. | Perma Link
When Seth Ryan first saw a GO FAR race, he knew he wanted to bring it to his schools. As community education program manager for Osseo Area Schools in Minnesota, Ryan thought the program was a cool opportunity.
“I thought it was interesting that that many kids were going to run a 5K,” he said. “Once you saw all the kids that were there, once you hear the stories of how [GO FAR] works and how easy the curriculum is to follow, I knew we could do it.”
He started a districtwide GO FAR program three years ago for District 279. It now includes 19 elementary schools during the school year and four elementary schools and one middle school during the summer.
The summer program culminates with a 5K after nine weeks of training two days a week. In three years, this race has grown from 250 to 550 participants—kids, parents, and community members.
“The program has grown as the students and families learn more about what it is about and the value it brings to our program and the students’ development,” Ryan said.
“It’s a great way to bring community together,” he said. “Anybody can do it. Male, female.” Ryan said that even if a runner starts out struggling in the beginning of the GO FAR program, he or she can overcome it.
There have been challenges for some kids: missing training, not wanting to participate, and internal struggle, like how to continue. “That’s one thing that we struggle with,” Ryan said. “Three miles can be hard for students to run.” But the students learn to persevere.
Ryan’s staff works hard to get the kids to see the big picture. “Instead of looking at the product at the end, we really work with the staff on ‘it’s the process, not the product,’ ” he said.
That means the kids learn about more than running. “[GO FAR] has two components to it,” Ryan said. “Teaching the kids to complete a goal and the character education. It’s teaching them compassion. When it does get hard, they’re supporting each other. They have a common goal they’re working toward.”