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Athlete of the Week - Woodland Elementary's "Let Me Run"

Athlete of the Week - Woodland Elementary's "Let Me Run"

PORTAGE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Some fourth and fifth grade boys are lacing up their shoes and running with a purpose.

Newschannel 3’s Mike McCann reports on the boys of the Let Me Run program at Woodland Elementary in Portage,

The boys running program didn't have running shoes until the school's parent teacher organization donated the money to buy them. Now that they are all laced up, the boys are not only pounding the pavement, but learning some valuable life lessons in the process.

Jennifer Altwies started the Let Me Run program at Woodland Elementary.

Altwies said, “My son said to me, ‘I really want a program like Girls On the Run. There's got to be something out there that I can run with my friends,’ So I said, ‘You know what, let me figure it out.’ So I went to our PTO. Mandy, our regional director for Let Me Run, came to one of our PTO meetings, and instantly, because of the message, and what they want to do to help these boys be better people."

Let Me Run aims to inspire boys to be themselves through the power of running and just like that, both the boys and the program took their marks, got sent, and went.

The boys offered different reasons for joining:

Thomas Winchester said, "To get fit, and to have an opportunity to go and play with friends after school and stuff."

Simon Helner said, "Because I thought it would be fun to run."

Through daily lessons and examples, the program is achieving its goal pf helping boys, like Winchester and Helner, learn lessons that will take them much further than their legs ever could.

Altwies said, "Every day they seek out what is useful and positive."

The Let Me Run boys received a special motivational visit last week from former WMU quarterback Tim Hiller. They have been slowly increasing their distances and will showcase their running skills in a 5k race in Galesburg in May.

Helner said, "There's quotes every day, and some of them are about being yourself."

Winchester said, "It helps build your leadership skills, and your social skills and it helps for you to talk to your friends and solve problems."

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