A path to fitness: Sandy Hook students work off energy on new track

William Welch, left, and William Griffey, right, both 9 and of Strasburg, run around the new track that was recently constructed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – Students at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Tuesday morning could not wait to take a break from class to try out the school’s new outdoor track.

Third-grader Kolbie St. Amand said she has run on the track every day since it opened on Friday.

“Me and Nana walk the track,” Kolbie said about a new evening ritual she does with her grandmother.

Sophia Tefft, who is also in third grade, said running around the track is a good way to work off the energy kids get that makes them squirm in class.  She added the track “is easier to run now.”

The students, who are required to show fitness by running a mile, used to run and play on a bumpy dirt – sometimes muddy – path. Teachers used to set out cones to map out a route for them. That’s no longer needed  – now the students run five laps around the track.

School principal Robin Shrum said she and staff had talked about an outdoor space for the kids, but there was never any money. That is until instruction coach Rayanna Davis, who also writes grants for the school, worked with physical education teachers Todd Marcross, Aaron Pooen and Vicki Lutz, to secure a Moore Foundation grant for $15,000.

“It’s awesome. I think it will not only encourage the kids but our employees as well,” Shrum said.

The community is invited to walk the track in the evening, she added.