Southwood fitness program keeps running

Nate Belcourt led the charge of Southwood Elementary School students around the Enumclaw Middle School playing fields and track and across the finish line during the school’s Fun Run June 14.

It was the Enumclaw school’s sixth Fun Run with a record number of 164 runners participating.

To qualify runners participated in the Running Club where they had to complete four cards. Each card required the student run 25 laps.

Southwood physical education teacher Jill Carlson explained each Fun Run qualifier ran 100 laps, which is approximately 20 miles.

The Fun Run was the culmination. The event started with a ceremony in the gymnasium to thank the Southwood PTA and Safeway for supporting the program.

Safeway assistant manager Tina Curry was on hand to receive a poster signed by Fun Run participants.

PTA eScrip Chair Lisa Close explained Safeway’s support. Safeway’s eScrip program, which highlights nutrition and fitness in schools, works like this: parents, staff and friends register their Safeway card with the eScrip program for free and choose Southwood Elementary as their beneficiary. Safeway then donates up to 4 percent of the purchases made on those cards to the PTA, which in turn gives the money back to Southwood students.

To ensure accountability, Safeway requires reporting on nutrition and fitness spending by the PTA.

The PTA purchases reward tokens and Fun Run T-shirts from those funds.

In 2010, Safeway’s eScrip program provided Southwood with more than $2,000. Close said from January through April of this year, Southwood has received almost $1,200.