JJIS students participate in fourth annual Jog-o-Thon

By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Tue., May. 31, 2011
Third graders Kayden (left) and Maureen enjoy themselves at the Jog-O-Thon. Photos by Kevin Hotary.
Third graders Kayden (left) and Maureen enjoy themselves at the Jog-O-Thon. Photos by Kevin Hotary.

For the fourth year in a row, the students and staff at Jack Jackter Intermediate School held their annual Jog-o-Thon. 

Taking advantage of a break from a string of rainy weather on May 26, student groups took turns by grade running and/or walking for about 25 minutes along a quarter-mile course constructed behind the school building, accompanied all the while by music intended to keep the energy level and enthusiasm at a maximum. 

Teachers and staff members jogged with the students or supervised along the route, making sure that everybody kept moving and that the students didn’t overdo it, keeping well-hydrated on the muggy morning with frequent water breaks.

The Jog-o-Thon was initiated by fifth-grade teacher Ben Desrochers, although a group of teachers and PTO members helped plan and organize the event. Desrochers said that he got the idea for the Jog-o-Thon from his daughter, who participated in a similar activity at her school in another town.

“I basically took the idea from them,” said Desrochers, who remained outside and directed the Jog-o-Thon throughout the morning. As an added benefit, his students also remained outside all morning, helping and encouraging the younger students when it was their turn on the course.

“It’s nice for them. It gives them a chance to get outside,” said Desrochers.

Promoting physical activity and healthy living is one of the main goals of the Jog-o-Thon.

“It’s a way to show the kids how to be active. It gets them out to exercise,” said Keri McCurry, a literacy paraprofessional at JJIS. “And the kids really seem to enjoy it.”

The Jog-o-Thon also serves as a way for the school to raise funds for physical education and recess equipment, as well as some other activities which are organized through the PTO. Students are asked to obtain sponsors, who donate a certain amount of money to the student for participating. All students, however, participate in the event even if they do not obtain any sponsors. By the beginning of the Jog-o-Thon, the students had raised more than $1,800, said Desrochers, who expected that number to increase as more donations came in after the event.

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