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Elementary cross country running is more than just a sport; it's an opportunity for young children to develop essential life skills while nurturing a love for physical activity. Cross country encourages youth to lace up their sneakers and explore the great outdoors. Unlike many competitive sports, cross country emphasizes personal growth and teamwork, making it an ideal introduction to athletics for kids.
"Cross country is going amazing. Our kids love going to meets," says Coach Anderson Bowman of Eastern Elementary, reflecting the enthusiasm that surrounds this grassroots sport.
Coaches Bowman and Madison Smith understand the profound impact of this sport on their young athletes. Eastern Elementary goes beyond competition, emphasizing personal growth, teamwork, and fostering a lifelong passion for running.
One of the most significant benefits of elementary cross country is its inclusive nature, and Coaches Bowman and Smith are champions of this ethos. They welcome children of all abilities and fitness levels, creating an environment where every participant feels valued and encouraged. Under their guidance, young runners learn the value of teamwork as they work together to achieve personal goals, whether it's completing a race without stopping or striving for a faster time. Moreover, these dedicated coaches instill discipline and perseverance in their athletes as they teach them to push beyond their limits, building not only physical strength but also mental resilience.
The coaches also recognize the importance of fostering a genuine love for running. Rather than fixating solely on competition, they encourage their young athletes to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and the satisfaction of setting and achieving individual goals. Whether running through meadows, forests, or around school grounds, young athletes under their mentorship develop a deep connection with their surroundings while building a solid foundation for a lifelong passion for running.
The simplicity of cross country means minimal equipment is needed, making it an accessible and affordable option for all students in Scott County. Recently, Eastern’s young athletes showcased their dedication and talent.
Amelia Newman, running in the girls' category, completed a challenging 2000m course in an impressive 11 minutes and 47 seconds, demonstrating not only her speed but also her determination.
In the boys' category, Eastern’s K-2 team shone bright by placing fourth overall out of all the schools attending the meet.
Among the K-2 boys, Karsen Stubbs stood out by placing in the top 20 out of approximately 120 participants.
Under the guidance of their coaches, these younger runners are not just racing; they are building a foundation for a healthier, active, and fulfilling life.
Teachers at Northern Elementary School have long believed a growth mindset can change a student’s school experience for the better. With the recent addition of positive affirmations aligning the hallway, Northern students are now reminded to keep a growth mindset daily.
Alyssa Hudgins, special education teacher, used her time this summer to add the display of positive affirmations above the main hallway.
“I wanted to remind our students that we believe they can achieve great things, and that they matter, just the way they are. The same goes for adults; sometimes we need a reminder too,” said Hudgins.
A blank canvas was ready and waiting. The main hallway is lit by rectangular box lights with large panels on each side. Hudgins affixed a sentence to each light in the hallway.
Positive affirmations are a simple but powerful way of changing the negative thoughts of our students and lead them onto a path for perseverance, self-love, and community kindness. Replacing a negative mindset with positivity can diminish anxiety and frustration in our students and help them to find success in their work and in themselves. Using positive affirmations daily in the classroom until it becomes a habit for the kids helps them to ingrain these new thoughts and make them permanent.
Studies have found that using positive affirmations daily in the classroom can help students succeed by changing their mindset; therefore, developing skills needed for their success.
Students and staff are welcoming the new display.
“It makes a school a more welcoming and accepting place for the students we serve,” commented Marci Pierce, Northern Guidance Counselor.
“I like the signs,” said a second-grade student. “They make us feel nic
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