Riley Quinn, a 5th grader at Clearview Elementary in Clear Lake, Minn., walks and runs for 15 minutes each day as part of the Morning Mile program launched at the school this year.
This is your first year doing the Morning Mile. What’s it like?
If it’s really cold out, then we go inside and we walk around the whole school. But if it’s a nice day out, then we walk outside and we go around the baseball field. For each lap we get a stick, and then at the end of the week we count up and whoever got the most sticks wins for the class. It gets us exercise and makes us a little tired, so we listen a little better. ... and I like how we can hang out with our friends instead of in the morning just doing work.
Do you get any other physical activity in school?
Recess is 20 minutes ... [but] I do dance. I do soccer. I do triathlons in the summer when you swim, bike and run. I run with my dad every morning.
What do you like best about the Morning Mile?
We get to learn stuff from it, and we also get to meet new friends because we’re walking with kindergartners and 1st graders and the whole school. ... A girl fell and I helped her, and then we were friends. When I told my sister about that, she’s like, ‘Oh, I wish we did this when I was at the school. (She’s two years older than me.)’
A version of this article appeared in the March 13, 2019 edition of Education Week as Student Voice: Riley Quinn, 5th Grade