Sunday, October 25, 2009

100 Mile Club's Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting

We REALLY DID cut a ribbon and though you can't really see them in this photo, those scissors were BIG and gold and sharp!
Please remember, I am a teacher first and foremost, so when a couple of our board members mentioned that they wanted us to have a Grand Opening for The 100 Mile Club, my first reaction was...
Huh? What? Grand Opening...really? why?
This is all relatively new to me, this world of business and non-profits, and grants, and partnerships. I am learning (FAST!), but still, I didn't quite understand what a Grand Opening was all about, or why 100 Mile Club, an organization that is so big, philosophically-based, SCHOOL-based, and spread-out should have a Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting Event. We don't even have a physical place, really. We are a people-based organization, not a store or anything, so I was understandibly confused. O_o
(By the way, a Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting event is affectionately and efficiently called a GORC in certain circles, so when it was originally proposed to me via text message as, "We need to have a GORC for 100 Mile Club...", I was like GORC? What is this GORC? What am I missing? Help me understand!!!).

So...I did what any normal confused person would do:
I googled.
Here is what I learned...

Once an organization is organized and ready to receive more clients, it will then sponsor a Grand Opening event.
A Grand Opening is stating that there is a special event planned. Often this is achieved with a party type atmosphere such as: food, music, prizes, balloons, giveaways, festive signs, and so on.
Still others go a bit further and have a ribbon cutting ceremony, where an oversized pair of scissors is used to cut an over sized ribbon to "officially" open their doors.
Generally, a Grand Opening is regarded as a promotional way for an organization to state that it is completely ready to serve its clients proficiently and professionally.

OK. Got it! We can do that...
So we set a date, found a place, and went for it. We chose McKinley Elementary School in Corona for our Grand Opening location for so many reasons, but mainly because 100 Mile Club was raised at McKinley. (FUN FACT: 100 Mile Club was BORN at Washington Elementary in Corona, my very first school, in 1992.)

The Corona Chamber of Commerce is amazing at GORC's (see? I'm learning!), so the work was relatively simple. I didn't do a whole lot to plan it. The other details were worked out by Board Member Ellie VanDoornum, who is a rockstar in every way.
We contacted the following caterers and extraordinary people to help us feed the people:
Windy Plum Farms, who made a whol bunch of the. most. delicious. Blue Cheese Grapes EVER! To die for. Thank you, Mark Neely!
As you Like It Catering sent over perfect cookies and dessert tasties for everyone!! YUM! Thank you so much to Rachel and Phyllis for being so nice. :)
Backwoods BBQ got it done with scrumptious PASTA BOLOGNAISE and Cole Slaw. We all left STUFFED! Thank you to Mayor Steve Nolan for your omnipresent support.
and Sweet Moments, made hundreds of mini cupcakes and surprised us with this:
Not only was it the most adorable cake was DELICIOUS! Laurice, you are Wonderwoman.

Spahrmedia. We wanted to document this occasion, and Michael Spahr stepped up, taped the whole thing for us, and took testimonials, too! He is so much fun and would be a great choice for any occasion. Plus, he sings a mean Barry Manilow and will be able to edit my little speech into something that actually makes sense! Yay! :)

The above businesses help out always and support 100 Mile Club with whatever that can, so please keep them in mind when you need something for your event or family. They are FABULOUS!
You know when you have an event or a party, and you have this vision that nobody will show up and you will just be standing there in an empty room with decorations and cake and it's just you and food?
That so DID NOT happen!

We had a blast. Coaches can from near and far to see what this was all about. They met and networked with local businesses and hopefully made meaningful connections. The kids danced and laughed and ate tiny cupcakes (so did some of the grownups!). We got to recognize our coaches and volunteers, and the Chamber of Commerce did a great job of coaching me through the evening. I was just thrilled to see everyone all in one place!
Video is coming, thanks to Spahrmedia, so look for that soon. We are a fun group, that's for sure!

Our precious Corona Queens came out to show their support!

Special thanks to the following people who helped at our Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting on Thursday:

Deb Potts and Mrs Badger's Class for making the tables look amazing as always!

Ellie Van Doornum, for making everything look so easy.

BJ Walker, for being the calm in the middle of the storm. We so need you.

Roberta Hartman and the McKinley PTA, for set-up, balloons, and spirit!!

Janette Neumann, for the cake, flowers, and 100% enthusiasm always.

Dot Lubin, for helping with everything that noone else wants to do. And doing it with a smile. I love you.

Glen Gonsalves, for putting up with 100 Mile Club literally IN THE HOUSE all. the. time.

City of Corona, specifically Mayor Pro Tem Karen Spiegel for showing up on your busiest day and speaking so kindly of 100 Mile Club and its vision for community wellness and health.

Mayor Pro Tem Karen Spiegel presenting us with a certificate of appreciation and saying very, very nice things about 100 Mile Club. I was nervous and slightly overwhelmed.

Corona Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to the Ambassadors and Chamber President Bobby Spiegel for coming out and showing such tremendous support always.

Chamber President Bobby Spiegel helping spread the word!

Corona Norco Unified School District for the use of space and to CNUSD Board member Michell Skipworth for speaking and showing us supprt in words, actions, and spirit.

Thanks to the HEAD COACHES, friends, and students that attended and gave testimonials, too. We couldn't have done it without all of YOU!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

100 Mile Club® Event Sanction Criteria

The 100 Mile Club® Group raised over $1400 for The Foundation for Community and Family Health on September 26, 2009! Not bad for a bunch of kiddos! :)

Are you an organization who would like 100 Mile Club® to sanction and promote your walk/run? If so, please read the following Sanctioning Criteria and let us know if you think your event might be a good fit for our Helping Feet program.

If an event meets the following criteria, it may be sanctioned by 100 Mile Club® pending board approval.

  • The 100 Mile Club® is permitted to staff a booth (EzUp, table, etc…) at no cost where mile credits may be distributed. Our booth should be placed in a highly visible spot so our families won't miss us.

  • 100 Mile Club® SponsorWear may be offered to donors at said sanctioned event. This is an opportunity for community members to sponsor a student in their area.

  • The walk is at least one mile.

  • If it is a race, there is an option to not race and still fully participate.

  • It is open and FULLY accessible to all ages, races, and disabilities.

  • Strollers must be permitted so that parents may walk with their children. Some of our walkers are as young as 4 years old, and they need their parents with them...

  • Monies raised directly benefit local programs or organizations. We want our kids to understand where their donations are going and to physically be able to see the benefits of their involvement.

  • It is not in conflict with other local previously sanctioned events. We want your event to be THE only one that we promote on a given day.

  • It is not a “politically charged” or a religiously-based event. This is a grey area, (we know) but we don't want anyone in our 100 Mile Club® to feel marginalized as a result of the mission of any of our Sanctioned Helping Feet events. The decision of our board is something on which we rely and trust 100%. They know when an event "feels right" or not. Their decision stands.

Once a walk/run is officially sanctioned by 100 Mile Club®, the following may/will take place:

  1. Your organization will be given permission to place our logo on your event literature to let kids and families know that they WILL receive miles for your event. It WORKS, and your event will draw many families who wouldn't normally attend (those mile-credits are a real draw)!

  2. 100 Mile Club® will place your event on our calendar for families and kids. Our families regularly look here for opportunities to earn more miles and give back to their communities. They know that they will be welcomed and appreciated at your event :)

  3. If you send us literature, we will place information in our Incentive Package shipments and pass out information when we are out and about (networking meetings, inservices, expos, meetings...). We just keep information in our presentation box and put it out on the table with our literature.

  4. 100 Mile Club® may send a representative to pass out credit slips. This is usually something that happens, but in the event that we are unable to send a rep, we ask that you offer credit slips to those families that request them.

If you feel that your event may qualify for a 100 Mile Club® Sanction, please email us at and we will get the ball rolling...

HELPING FEET!! Earn Miles and Give Back!

Part of the mission of the 100 Mile Club® is to give back and teach the value of community service. We acknowledge the ability of each individual to do what they can to help local charities For this, we have our newly named "Helping Feet" program!

We carefully choose specific charity walks/runs in our local communities so that our participants can do three things:

1. Give Back in a really fun way. Many of our children have never attended community events or any sort of group walk or run. Helping Feet™ teaches our kids that giving back is FUN and feels really good. Participants can meet 100 Milers from other schools and even see and run with their teachers!! It is a win-win situation.

2. EARN MILES! The charity events we sanction are those where our kids can earn at least 3 miles. There will be a 100 Mile Club booth or table at each of the sanctioned events. Here, students pick up a certificiate of completion for the event with the total number of miles completed.

3. Earn Community Service Hours. 100 Mile Club offers community service hours for qualifying schools and groups in addition to miles! Woohoo!

100 Mile Club Participants take their Event Completion Certificate back to school where their miles are counted toward their 100 Mile Club goal, and they receive accolades from their teachers and coaches!

It's a beautiful thing.

Find out more about 100 Mile Club Helping Feet events in your area on our website under CALENDAR OF EVENTS...

100 Mile Club Mailbag: Questions and Answers for YOU!

My son is in the 100 Mile Club at Sky Country E.S. He picked up his slip that said he ran the 5K in Eastvale so he can earn the three miles. However, he has also run in the Citrus Heritage Run in Sept (also a 5k) and is thinking of running Mission Inn. Can he get credit for those runs as well? I still have his race bib from Citrus Park as proof that he ran there. It has his name on it also. Thanks for encouraging him to run!

Aleta, Mira Loma, CA

Thank you for the excellent question! The ultimate goal of The 100 Mile Club is for your son to complete 100 miles AT SCHOOL during a single school year. That said, as long as your son is working his hardest at school and logging miles diligently, I see no reason that his miles at these charity events can't count. We just don't want him to REPLACE miles from school with these race miles. Ultimately, it is up to your site Head Coach...please visit her or send her an email with this question. I will support the decision that she makes. :) Thanks again for your question! See you out and about!

What about miles logged walking to and from school? My daughter walks to school every day and plays soccer, too. Her coach makes her run a lot! Can we count those miles?

Please clarify with your child, teachers, and staff that miles for The 100 Mile Club™ may only be counted while AT SCHOOL. Sports practices, after school, to and from school, etc etc should not be counted. Doing so truly cheapens the process and makes it reeeeeaaaallyy easy for certain kids to get to 100 miles, while other less fortunate students watch and wonder…

The Mission of The 100 Mile Club™ is to provide to all students the opportunity to experience the powerful feeling of fitness and TRUE personal success by Accepting the Challenge of running (or walking) 100 miles at school during a single school year.

The words AT SCHOOL truly help us focus our vision and clearly state that miles completed must be done at school while on track.

Students may not count laps/miles completed with parents at home, during sports practices, etc etc…We need to keep everyone’s experience and journey consistent, and we cannot do this if kids are given “free” miles, miles for soccer practice, etc etc.**
Helping Feet Events are one other way to earn more miles, help your community, AND meet other 100 Mile Club Kids & Families!! Part of the mission of the 100 Mile Club® is to give back and teach the value of community service. We acknowledge the ability of each individual to do what they can to help local charities For this, we have our newly named "Helping Feet" program! Click here for more information...

The only other "outside mile" exceptions are those who are on home-hospital instruction. We do have one student undergoing treatment for leukemia walking on his treadmill at home. PLEASE help us reinforce this. The 100 Mile Club™ is an at school activity, and allowing for extra miles for some while others do not get the same opportunity truly cheapens the process. Also, Team Spirit piece is removed since all are not sharing the same experience.

We want our students to experience this journey together.

**We do have a school that allows students to log ONE MILE A WEEK at home. The kids and parents have to fill out a special form and have a parent signature. For this particular school, they and I worked very hard to keep with the integrity of the 100 Mile Club project while also honoring specific time restraints at their particular school. It works for them, and it can work for your school, too. Just be careful, keep the mission clear, and make sure to honor everyone for their efforts.

Eastvale CARES!! Family 5K and Health Fair

It was dark when we arrived to set up for the Eastvale Cares Family 5K and Health Fair. PITCH DARK. I knew that the chill in the air was only temporary, so I didn't even bring my jacket out. Instead, I relished the cold...the heat was certainly on its way.

We were greeted by welcoming smiles and folks who, despite the early dark hour, were ready to go. Four high school volunteers helped me unload my car, and we were set up in no time.

Thank you to our volunteers:
  • Dave LaVelle. His calm and kind spirit was so welcome and appreciated. Thank you to him for taking time out of his busy busy day to be with us.
  • Mark and Ellie VanDoornum. Both are such enthusiastic forces within this organization. Thanks for being there, helping all of our kids get credit, and getting the word out about our upcoming Walk for Kids (March 13, 2010!)
  • Samantha Troisi and Danielle Shapiro. Fabulous volunteers that came to help from Corona Fundamental Intermediate School. They were enthusiastic, efficient, and smiley. Both did a great job finding students at the Health Fair who still needed a mile credit slip for the 5K and 1-mile Fun Run. Thanks, ladies!
This was our second sanctioned run of the 2009-10 100 Mile Club® Cycle, and once again, the kids came out in force!! The following schools were represented:

Rosa Parks
Susan B. Anthony
Sky Country
Corona Ranch
Corona Fundamental Intermediate

* Our top participating schools!! (Stats based on signing the 100 Mile Club Guest book and receipt of 100 Mile Club CREDIT SLIP.)

This event had such a great community spirit...families seemed happy and ready to take on the challenge of what was, for many, a first 5K!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chapter Profile: Tuscany Hills ES, Head Coach Michelle Sapp

My 100 Mile Club Kids!
by Michelle Sapp, 100 Mile Club Head Coach: Tuscany Hills Elementary

We are 1 month into our new 100 Mile Club Program at the boys school and all the kids are doing great! On Friday I got to already award 7 kids their 25 mile goal tshirts. Very cool! These little studs (yes, including my 2 little competitive souls) are going to hit WELL over 100 miles by the end of the school year. Got to keep up with them, I got 30 in for the month - not bad!?! All the kids, teachers and parents at the school are so excited about this program - very neat to be a part of it. Highly recommend bringing it to your kids school!

Every Friday morning before school from 7:45 - 8:45 for the last month about 100 of the students plus their parents & some teachers have been at our morning walk /run - very cool thing to see.

All the classes charts are in the multi purpose room for the kids to see their progress each week.

These are my first 7 kids to hit the 25 mile goal! Ryan, Blake, Brandon, Willy, Bronson, Shane, Trevor...Blake already has 39 miles & Brandon 35 - crazy boys !!!!

When they run on Friday mornings they get a mark every time they complete a lap, 4 laps = a mile. They did just a few on Friday..... Blake logged in 23 laps & Brandon 20 laps.

Earning our miles together - Cary has a little catching up to do to get his shirt!

Coach Sapp and her 100 Mile Club Kids have hit the ground running...LITERALLY! Amazing implementation and spectacular adoption of the mission and ideals of The 100 Mile Club!! Go, Tuscany Hills, GO! ~Ms. Lubin~

Developing Integrity and Honesty, or What if They Cheat??

"Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching."

Some of the most valuable and life-changing learning experiences in The 100 Mile Club occur when a student is challenged by his own sense of what is right and wrong.

So you catch a student who has been less than honest about his/her miles...what to do? Well, first, stop. Don't flip out. Take a deep breath and ask yourself *why* he/she may be exhibiting this sort of behavior. Nobody WANTS to cheat. I believe that wholeheartedly. Some confessions I have received over the years:

The Noble Cheater: AKA "But I was just trying to help...The best example of this is the boy whose grandmother was flying in from Egypt and he wanted to have his shirt when he met her at the airport. This was a rough one, because his good friend loaned him some lap sticks with a promise that he would "pay her back" the following week. This was a rough one. We sat the two down and explained that although we appreciated the thoughtfullness and teamwork, what they did was, in fact, cheating...and was quite dishonest. We had the boy return his "dishonest" sticks to his good friend, we all had a little chat, shed a few tears together, and then we gave him time to complete his laps before the plane arrived.

The superacademic overachiever who simply could NOT STAND that someone was actually "beating" him at something school-related! We reminded him that this race was only against himself and that he needs to refrain from comparing himself to others. This was not easy for him to hear. We readjusted his miles, shed a few tears (see a pattern?), and we coached him through the year, helping him recognize his own personal successes. Yes, he did make it to 100 miles, but this was one of the hardest things he had ever done at school.

The Blatantly Over-the-Top Exaggerator of Miles. This sweet child reported in an outrageous number of miles after a 10 minute jog with is class... Well, after we all looked at him with total confusion, I simply wrote down a reasonable amount, pulled him aside and kindly pretended that he didnt know how to count laps (maybe he did, maybe he didn' wasn't my place to judge). I retaught him, reminded him about being honest, and to ask me if he was ever unsure of how to count his miles.


What should you do if you face a student with a less-than-honest tendency?

Take the student aside and ask him/her without judgement. You can say something like, I'm not sure that you have been wholly honest about your miles, and I want to help you so that when you earn your milestines it will feel really good and RIGHT. Remind them about the lifeskills of HONESTY and INTEGRITY and let them know that if they earn a milestone by being dishonest, they will know in their hearts that they will feel bad.

Usually they will tell you what's going on and at that point, you help them get back on track, adjusting their miles accordingly. Do this quietly but deliberately. Don't impart punishment by not allowing them to run...they want to please you and themselves by showing you that they CAN do it right. Let them prove themselves to you.

Maintain and preserve your student's dignity, but don't let him/her "get away with" continuing the behavior. Kids know when you care and they really do love being held to a high standard. Same with 100 Mile Club. Some kids just have to test the waters. Hold fast to your standard, all the while providing the love and support necessary for a child to feel true personal success. They'll figure it out...

...and so will you. The fact that you are allowing your students to experience this journey means that you "get it". Trust yourself, refer to your PYRAMID OF SUCCESS when you get confused about what to do. It works every time.

Accommodating and Modifying for ALL

When I created The 100 Mile Club, I asked myself:

What would be a perfect balance between challenging and attainable?

For MOST kids, 100 miles works perfectly. Three miles a week. Not too easy, not too hard. For some, however, there needs to be some adjustment. And that's ok.

Sometimes, the balance between challenging and attainable must be adjusted to help some participants achieve TRUE personal success.

Pre-school, kindergarten. Besides being so tiny and cute, most of our preschoolers and kindergarteners are on 1/2 day at school, and for this reason, we have used "mini miles" at many of our schools . Mini Miles are simply 1/2 mile =1 mile. When these little ones run, we still call their "miles" miles...we just calculate them differently. No big deal.

Last year at one school, we looked at the statistics of the kindergarten classes who did mini-miles and compared them with our regular 1 Mile=1 Mile classes. Our mini-mile kindergarteners earned their incentives at just about the same time as our other classes. It WORKED! So...try mini miles for the little ones. The statistics match, and the little ones find it much more attainable, yet appropriately challenging. We found a balance! YAY!

Individuals with Disabilities. There are as many modifications as there are disabilities, and every single individual is different. Use your best judgement or talk to your adaptive p.e. coach about appropriate challenges for your student/s.
For most, again, walking a mile is perfect...but if you need to, simply figure out what your student can do "3" of each week. That can be their "mile".

We have had students with specific physical disabilities do swimming, walking a specified distance using their walker, rolling in their wheelchair, and even physically rolling across a mat as miles. Nothing is off limits, as long as you allow all individuals to do their best at whatever activities are appropriate for them.

You can start with this document: 100 Mile Club Mile Equivalents. It will help you make some decisions about appropriate mile-equivalents for your students with disabilities.
If you need to, just call. We can help you figure out something really good for every child. I have never had a child unable to participate...ever. We can always make 100 Mile Club work for everyone. 100 Mile Club's beauty is its flexibility. :)

Remember, YOU know your students best. Help each of them to do what they can do and you and ALL of your students will undoubtedly reap the rewards of 100 Mile Club participation.
The 100 Mile Club has the potential to be life-changing for many of our students.

  • Many students have never completed an activity that takes such long-term planning and goal-setting.

  • Many students discover hidden athletic talents and go on to participate in sports and activities in high school and beyond.

  • Others simply learn a little bit more about themselves through this journey to 100 miles and apply this new knowledge to their educations, their overall wellness, and their relationships with others.

The 100 Mile Club really is all about Accepting the Challenge and experiencing the journey to success with others, and I am incredibly excited for anyone who takes that on, in whatever form it happens to be...