Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Readin’, writin’ and lots of walkin’

Citizen Staff Writer



At 9:30 a.m. every school day, 23 fifth-graders at Hudlow Elementary, 502 N. Caribe Ave., walk at least one mile in 15 minutes.

“It’s called a brisk walk,” student Javier Martinez-Carmona said Wednesday.

Martinez-Carmona is one of 43,000 Arizona fifth-graders taking part in “Walk On,” a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona sponsored event. The students are given pedometers and a calendar to track at least 10,000 steps a day during February.

Sandy DelCasale’s class has been participating for four years, since the program began.

DelCasale said the first year her students enjoyed it so much, they continued to walk each day the rest of the year. Now, daily walks are a year-round event, although there is extra motivation in February.

The student learn about having healthy hearts and are encouraged to make exercise a daily part of life. Also, participants have a chance of winning a Wii Fit video game system, iPods and more. The school with the highest level of participation will win $2,500 toward a fitness-related field trip or activity.

However, when asked, the students in DelCasale’s class barely talk about the possible prizes. Instead they expound on the benefits of walking every day.

Fifth-grader Marcos Alamirano said the students are told to stay in front of the teacher, who walks quickly.

“It’s not just about going slow,” he said. “It doesn’t help your heart to go slow.”

On early-out days or rainy days the students don’t walk, which has a downside.

“When we don’t walk we all get really cranky,” Brandon Clark said.

As the students walked Wednesday, Haley Rice fell behind the rest of the class. She had cut her toe in gymnastics the day before and it was hurting, but she still managed 2 1/2 laps before it was time to go inside.

Rice pointed out the “running boys,” Kamel Singh, Michael Aguilar, Martinez-Carmona and Israel Mendoza-Castro, who will run five to six laps around a 1/3 mile track during each day’s walk.

Mendoza-Castro said he thinks all the kids should be able to run like they do.

“I tell them to start running often at home, like run a block, because you need to let your energy out,” he said.

Fifth-graders learn benefits of exercise by walking a mile each day

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service