(From left) Haley Ellingson, Maggie Lile, Shelby Ryan, Madilyn Ostern, Jaxon Strinmoen, and Katelyn Kraus enjoy a walk at Spring Grove School.  Behind them is teacher/Walking Club coordinator, Deb Sullivan
(From left) Haley Ellingson, Maggie Lile, Shelby Ryan, Madilyn Ostern, Jaxon Strinmoen, and Katelyn Kraus enjoy a walk at Spring Grove School. Behind them is teacher/Walking Club coordinator, Deb Sullivan
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No special equipment is needed, no plays need to be learned, it can be done alone or in a group, it is a great form of exercise that people can do throughout their lives. What is this activity? Walking. It is a low-impact way to exercise, stretch one's legs, and even see many sights depending on the course. Students at Spring Grove Elementary School have the opportunity to join a Walking Club and stretch their legs during the school day.

The Walking Club was just recently organized for students in kindergarten through sixth grade and one of its purposes is to promote healthy living.

"We've had a high percentage of the students sign up," said Walking Club coordinator Deb Sullivan. "The kids are really enjoying it a lot so far and are excited to do it each time."

Currently, Walking Club is offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at lunch time. Once the students have eaten their lunch (at least 15 minutes), they are taken to the gymnasium where they walk laps. Because children walk at different speeds based on their size, there are two walking paths - the inner circle of walkers are for those going at a slower pace and the outside circle is for those walking at a faster pace.

"The students are really taking this seriously," added Principal Nancy Gulbranson. "They would like to do it every day if we could, but right now we don't have staff available to be with the students on every day. If there is a parent or community volunteer who would like to consistently come in on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays and walk with the students, they would be happy and grateful!"

The goal of the Walking Club is to walk all the way to the Galapagos Islands on the equator, which is 3,000 miles! For 15 minutes of walking, the students will be able to log one mile. The collective miles will be tracked to see how close they are getting to their tropical destination. Students are encouraged to have walked 30 miles by the end of March. A celebration is being planned for April, which will include handing out the t-shirts that the walkers have earned. Students who have walked 30 miles will receive a t-shirt.

Students are also able to track their physical activities at home - activities in which they are constantly moving for at least 15 minutes. Parents keep track on a special calendar that they sign at the end of the month and return to the classroom teacher.

"All of the teachers think this is a super idea," commented Sullivan.

Gulbranson agreed and added, "It has been working really well to give students who have completed their lunch something constructive to do while they wait for lunchtime to be over."

Students are still able to join the Walking Club. They can ask their classroom teacher for a form that they fill out, have their parents sign, and return to school. The students will be able to follow along with the progress of the Club on a bulletin board in the lunchroom.By David Stoeger

Spring Grove Herald



The Caledonia Police Department, along with the Minnesota State Patrol, is investigating a fatal vehicle versus pedestrian collision that resulted in the death of a 76-year-old woman that occurred at about 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Caledonia.

Police say a 20-year-old female driver collided with a 76-year-old female pedestrian on the 300 block of West Main Street in Caledonia.

The investigation and site reconstruction of the scene are ongoing. The names of the driver and victim have not yet been released.