The Mileage Club® is a simple lunch hour program that gets children to walk or run around the playground a few times a week. Mileage Marker™ Cards are checked when a lap is completed. At the end of recess, children return their cards. For every 5 miles, a colorful Toe Token™ is awarded to a child to put on a shoelace or wear on a chain.
Over the years we've helped over 22,000 schools get Mileage Club® up and running. Below we've listed answers to questions we are frequently asked by teachers who are unsure what to do next with the Mileage Club® for elementary schools —and we have some solutions!
- Rainy Days - On rainy days, have the children walk indoors, either down the hallways or in the school gym. The focus should be to get them walking and moving, not where they do it.
- Small Playground - Do you have a small playground? Have them walk indoors or even block off a part of the street for an hour in front of the school so the kids have a safe place to run.
- Permission Slips - Permission slips have been brought up on multiple occasions by some of our schools. This is a matter of school policy with activities, so speak to your principal.
- Parent Participation - As you probably already know, getting parents involved can be extremely beneficial. Getting parents involved with Mileage Club® is no different and can help your program become more successful. It's also possible to have the participation take place before or after school where it is more of an elective.
- Teacher Participation - Teachers should be participating! There's no better way to show children that it can be fun to walk than if their teachers are involved. Provide a presentation to the teachers in order to get their buy-in. Otherwise, there's always the idea of running it without them and handing out awards right there on the playground. It may be beneficial to hold a special assembly and discuss the importance of physical education.
- How To End Each Session - Some kids will want to run and run to avoid class. The program needs to end in a timely fashion at the end of each session and this can be done by sounding a bell two minutes before it's time to go back into the classroom. This gives students a chance to finish their lap and stand in line for the punch of their yellow card.
- Age Appropriate Distances - Every program is going to be different, so you will want to establish a program that works for the age of the children as well as the actual school it is being done at.
- Preschool: Short distances, no purpose
- Ages 5-8: Short bursts, no more than a mile
- Ages 9-12: Speed over distance
- Ages 13-14: No heavy running
- Ages 15-18: Cross training
- Should Mileage Club® Be Required - The program is designed to make physical exercise fun and enjoyable so students will want to exercise. If Mileage Club® becomes a burden, that would defeat its purpose. However, many schools have used the following requirements without harm:
- A) Complete at least one card (5 miles) as part of their physical education program.
- B) Complete one lap per day before playing
- Make It Fun! - Use some fun punches or stamps and even let kids do their own. Collect the cards outside and always make sure to have plenty of Toe Tokens® so children can redeem when they have reached the needed amount.