Run mixes sun, fun for College Place school

Meadow Brook Intermediate School students, staff and parents took to the streets Tuesday.

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COLLEGE PLACE -- Undaunted by stifling 80-degree weather, students, parents and staff of Meadow Brook Intermediate walked, jogged and sprinted a 5K (3.1-mile) fun run Tuesday afternoon. Parent volunteers set up two watering stations along the route, where many students dumped cold water over their heads to stay cool.

Meadow Brook teacher and run organizer Aubrey Shaver said the event was intended to "get the kids outside and give them some exercise while promoting parent involvement" in the school.

According to Meadow Brook staff, about 60 parents participated in some capacity -- either by partaking in the run directly, or by volunteering as crossing guards. Getting parents involved in school activities, like the fun run, is a primary goal of Meadowbrook staff. They have put on various music, sporting and social programs throughout the year to encourage parent involvement and participation.

"Most students love having their parents involved in their lives, whether it be academically or in other areas. When parents show an interest in their kids' lives and support them, the students are much more likely to achieve success in the classroom," said Shaver, explaining Meadow Brook's commitment to connecting students with parents through programs like the fun run.

Echoing Shaver's sentiment, many of the students whose parents participated were excited to share the experience with their parents.

When asked how she felt about having her mother participate in the fun run student Sedona Willus said, "I loved it, it was fun!"

Parent Marcus Goldwater said his "son wouldn't have wanted to run" if he hadn't attended.

"This is a wonderful event. When I was a kid I would have enjoyed it ... it gives kids a sense of freedom right before they go off for the summer ... it's great," he said amidst the playful chaos of the post-run ice cream social, where students beat the summery heat with ice cream and cold water while playing games and meeting with friends.

Although the run was not competitive, teachers awarded top-finishing boys and girls for each class with handcrafted trophies. Sixth-grader Stewart Rowley recorded the fastest time in the race, with a finishing time of 27:02, and Madison Garrett, also a sixth grader, had the best time among girls with a time of 30:50.

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