ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Students from L. Mendel Rivers Elementary School walked with 97 AMW Company Grade Officers, teachers and parents for a nation-wide Walk to School Day event, October 24, 2018, at Altus AFB, Okla.
The walk was coordinated by the Company Grade Officers Council and the staff of Rivers Elementary to give students a change of pace when starting their school day.
“The event was called ‘Walk to School Day’,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Ro'maine Pryor, deployment and distributions flight commander of the 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “We started in Excellence Park and walked 16-to-20 kids along the path to school.”
L. Mendel Rivers Elementary School wants to make this a recurring event at the 97th Air Mobility Wing.
“We are hoping to do this again every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month as the weather allows,” said Terri Hamilton, principle of L. Mendel Rivers Elementary School. “When I took this job, I found out that we are ‘certified healthy’ by the Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program. That’s something I’m very interested in promoting and I hope the students’ parents are too.”
Being ‘certified healthy’ means that the school is supporting healthy choices through environmental and policy change, thereby improving the health of those in attendance. Staying healthy is only one piece of the puzzle. Teachers and staff work diligently at Rivers Elementary to facilitate an interactive learning environment.
“We are working on different ways to improve achievement and growth,” said Hamilton. “We try to instill in the kids that school is not just learning your ABCs or 123s, it’s learning about the world, how to interact with each other and how to treat each other with respect. Those things are what make school important to kids.”
Making school engaging is one takeaway, but there was another that parents, teachers and the CGO’s hoped the kids would learn even more.
“If we want them to take away one thing from this, it’s that it’s good to get out and about, and out of a routine,” said Pryor. “All too often kids get bored. If we want our kids to be successful, we have to keep them engaged and keep them excited in their routines.”
A simple change in routine can keep one’s self active and engaged in daily life. This event also gave the children a chance for new interactions.
“This event was a platform to give the kids a chance to talk to someone they wouldn’t normally talk to,” said Pryor. “It also allowed parents and CGO’s to try and pull these kids out of their natural environment, change their daily routine and get them some exercise to get the blood moving first thing in the morning.”
Breaking routines, providing opportunities and giving Airmen and their families a chance to try something new is important at the 97th Air Mobility Wing.