Lacing up a brand new pair of jet blue Saucony running shoes, Joseph Ramirez could not take the smile off his face.
“I’m excited about these shoes. I just like running,” the Lee Means Elementary third grader said. “It’s fun to feel the wind on me as I go.”
Joseph is one of 120 elementary students from across HCISD to not only receive a pair of shoes but also participate in a six-week running program aimed to teach children healthy habits at a young age.
Between hourly exercises and classes on health and wellness, the Fit to Run program was organized through a $10,000 grant from the Saucony athletic company.
Grants and Special Projects Manager Jessica Hruska says the funds not only paid for the shoes but provided certificates, healthy snacks and the means to carry out this wellness initiative.
“Bonham Elementary, Dishman Elementary, Lee Means Elementary, Stuart Elementary, and Travis Elementary were all participants,” Hruska said. “This project was great because it not only taught the students various life skills but allowed them to have new shoes just in time for the Saturday, April 16, Kid Fit event.
Since 2011, Junior League of Harlingen has put on Kid Fit for the city. Aligned with the League’s mission, this group of community leaders supports overall wellness in Harlingen.
“Kid Fit is a free event for our community,” Tuli Villegas said. “We want to promote the importance of having a ‘fit mind.’ By providing a day where parents and students can have fun being active and learning about healthy foods, it creates reasons to make habits out of exercising and eating well together.”
The students and their parents impacted by the grant, all gathered in the Harlingen Aquatic Center on Thursday to receive their shoes and register for the free event.
HCISD thanks Junior League of Harlingen for organizing Kid Fit and Saucony for putting shoes on student’s feet and smiles on their faces.