TYLER (KYTX) - After a six-week challenge, Clarkston Elementary students walked a total of 679 miles! They also learned how fun fitness can be.
"Kids want to be active. They want to get outside. They want to succeed. They want to exercise. They love it." says Clarkston Elementary P.E. teacher Happi Byrne.
She says she's proud of her students and hopes they realize the importance of exercise now.
"I think the way that it's trending, they're having less and less time for P.E., and I think kids need that stimulate to their brain and to get those brain cells working. They need activity so they can focus on what they need to focus on, with their math and their reading and their writing."
In six weeks, Clarkston cougars walked nearly 680 miles together. That's like walking from Tyler to Omaha, Nebraska!
"It was pretty cool." says 11-year-old Dominik Alvarez.
He says Byrne has given him plenty of health and fitness advice along the way.
"She wanted to get you healthy and stuff. And, we did exercise, like we went to our P.E. and then she talked about the healthy foods, like apples and fruits."
Lessons fifth grader Cheyenne Reyes takes with her when the school day is over.
"I like to go play outside, hang out with my sister." she says.
Byrne says there are simple ways to implement exercise in your home.
"You can just get outside and walk in your neighborhood though, as a family. That brings family time. You talk about your day. It's so much more than just exercise. It's having a relationship with your child."
Another plus from this walking club challenge- Byrne says the number of tardies went down at school.
Third grader Caleb welch walked the most laps in his school. He was absent when we filmed this story, but Byrne says he is so excited to be the overall winner.
He's going shopping with her Friday afternoon for a free pair of new tennis shoes!