HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There is an elementary school in Hawaii which is now receiving a helping hand from ASICS and PHIT America. That local school in need is Ali'iolani Elementary School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
ASICS, in cooperation with PHIT America, is providing financial assistance, known as a PHIT America GO! Grant, to Ali'iolani Elementary School (1240 7th Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii) to support The Morning Mile program at the school. ASICS has a corporate presence in the Honolulu community with a retail location at International Market Plaza. As a concerned and local corporate citizen, ASICS feels it is essential to lend a helping hand to the local youth.
The Morning Mile is a powerful way for school children to get moving in the mornings and to jump-start their school day. Each day before school begins, all students and their families are invited to start their morning by running or walking at Ali'iolani Elementary School. This fitness session will get the students more physically fit while kick-starting their brains. This also expends the students' youthful energy which leads them to being more academically engaged during the school day.
The benefits of The Morning Mile are immense and participation has been strong, to date. Since October 30, 176 children – more than 70 percent of the student body -- at Ali'iolani Elementary School have walked or run a cumulative total of nearly 2,000 miles -- 1,763, to be exact, as of December 20. Each school day morning, the school children are on school property, ready to run or walk, as early as 7:15. Each session of The Morning Mile lasts 30 minutes. The participating children range from pre-K to 5th grade.
"Every morning at 7:15, the music is blaring, students are walking, teachers are walking, parents are walking and grandparents are walking," said Joseph Passantino, Principal, Ali'iolani Elementary School.
The benefits of The Morning Mile are significant.
"With The Morning Mile, we wake them up and get their brains charged to have a great learning experience during the day," said PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh.
"ASICS has a community presence in Hawaii and we are passionate about local youth lead a more healthy or physically active lifestyle. The PHIT America GO! Grant to Ali'iolani Elementary School will help make a local impact in the national 'Inactivity Pandemic,' which is threatening children's health and academic performance," said Gene McCarthy, President and CEO, ASICS America Corporation. "And there is no better way for these local children and their families to start their school days than running and walking with The Morning Mile program."
"GO! Grant support of The Morning Mile program will help these children build habits that will last a lifetime, ensuring them longevity and quality of life," said Fitz Koehler, Founder of The Morning Mile. "This program is already in 250 schools around the U.S and beyond. And, many children are running more than 600 miles per year. Students, parents and teachers love this program. It is a winner for everyone involved."
"National research reveals American children have become more and more sedentary which has both a negative effect on children's health and their academic performance," adds Baugh. "That's why these PHIT America GO! Grants are so important. They help stimulate physical activity for children."
GO! Grants are awarded to schools by PHIT America, with the support of KIDS in the GAME. In the past two years, more than 350 PHIT America GO! Grants have been awarded nationally to school P.E. programs – helping more than 175,000 school children get physically active. GO! Grants help schools that are in desperate need of gear, programming or training for physical activity programs.
There is a huge need for these PHIT America GO! Grants, as 48% of all high schools have no P.E. or physical activity programs, such as The Morning Mile. And, many school districts have even cut recess. With the average budget for physical education programs throughout the U.S. at only $762 per year for an entire school, it is estimated more than 40,000 schools throughout the U.S. are in need of help. More and more Americans, especially children, are increasing physically inactive which has led to national declines in sports participation, especially team sports. In a recent global study on exercise, U.S. children are ranked 47th out of 50 countries in worldwide fitness.
PHIT America GO! Grants range in size from $1,000 to $5,000 per school. In every PHIT America GO! Grant application, schools indicate the need of their students to develop their motor skills, reduce obesity, and increase physical literacy and fitness.
Founded in January 2013, PHIT America is a non-profit campaign focused on overcoming the severe ramifications of the 'Inactivity Pandemic' through four strategic approaches – education, supporting school-based activity programs, a national event and advocating – which will get Americans, especially our youth, more active, fit and healthy. Companies or individuals interested in helping PHIT America fight the 'Inactivity Pandemic' should contact PHIT America atAlliance@PHITAmerica.org.
For more information about PHIT America, visit www.PHITAmerica.org.
This story may be updated.