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Turkey Trot Gets Gregory Elementary Students Moving

Students start holiday embracing physical fitness

It wasn't the sound of the scattering rain drops that was heard pounding the pavement on Gregory Avenue Tuesday afternoon; it was the sound
of pounding feet as Gregory Elementary Students ran their annual Turkey Trot.

Against a backdrop of rain and the theme song from "Rocky" blasting from the speakers, students set off on a one-mile run to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday.

Approximately 300 third through fifth graders gathered in front of the school to run around the school's block two times for the Fourth Annual Turkey Trot. At the conclusion of the race, the younger grades came out to cheer and show their support for their fellow students.

Lisa Asman, the school's physical education teacher helped orchestrate the event along with approximately 50 parent volunteers. She said she was inspired to start a turkey trot at the school four years ago after seeing a turkey trot certificate. The trot, she said, is a "part of the bigger physical education picture." She incorporates the run with the President’s Fitness Challenge.

The police blocked off streets securing the runners safety for the half hour event. Asman thanked the police presence saying it "added to the sense of community."

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anthony Cavanna was on hand for the event. He walked the first lap around the school with the students encouraging and cheering them on. Cavanna told Patch he likes "to spend the time with the students for this very special event." He added, "I think Ms. Asman does a great job teaching parents and students to work together. She also helps set goals that fit right in with the fitness and wellness of the students."

At the conclusion of the trot, Michele Thompson, Gregory's Principal, presented Cavanna with a Turkey Trot certificate.

Carolyn Bemis was a parent volunteer who ran with the kids then stayed at the finish line cheering on students. She called it "a fantastic community event." Lisa Renwick, another parent volunteer described the trot as "awesome." Renwick said, "It's very motivating seeing the kids celebrating the school and community this way."

For some parents it was their last trot with school. Chris Arnold, a runner himself, who has been running with his daughters who are now in fifth grade since they were in third grade, said, "It’s great. The kids love it and it gets them out and exercising."

Thompson told Patch she feels strongly about the school’s commitment to physical education. "We look at Michelle Obama and see what she is trying to instill across the country,." She added, "this is our future. We have to realize this [exercise] should be a part of everyday life."

jackie oliver November 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM
i had the pleasure to work with lisa asman at gregory many years ago. she is a dedicated teacher who always gets the best out of her students. well done!
lisa renwick November 24, 2011 at 04:03 PM
It was so fun and it gave me a fun way to exercise thanks mrs.Asman You ROCk !emma renwick 3-R
Anna B November 29, 2011 at 01:56 AM
As a future physical education teacher, this is a truly motivating story to read. It is great to hear about an event that produces involvement from not only the students, but also their parents and the administration, bringing physical education into the community to create such a strong and positive presence. Unfortunately children in this country are becoming increasingly inactive, but by getting children involved and interested in physical activity early with events and programs such as this, we are taking steps toward a healthier future.

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