Running 505 helps kids stay on right track

An education professor who created Running 505 – a youth program that promotes health and emotional wellness through the joy of running – says it is now in place at five Albuquerque elementary and middle schools and growing.

The overall goal is to promote long-term wellness for fifth- through eighth-grade students, said Melani Buchanan Farmer, who teaches in the Rio Rancho branch of the School of Education of New Mexico Highlands University.

“Middle school is often a time of stormy weather where kids are trying to find the balance between who they are as an individual and also make connections with people in their life,” Buchanan Farmer said in a Highlands news release. “With Running 505, I wanted to incorporate the social and emotional component along with physical fitness. Running is easy for kids, because they can just step outside and do it.”

Those interested in learning more can visit online at www.running505.com.

bright-spot-logoThe program – Running Girls 505 and Running Guys 505 – began at Washington Middle School and is now at Bandelier Elementary, Monte Vista Elementary, Jefferson Middle and Mark Twain Elementary.

Interested participants do not need to attend these schools to join the program, just be in the fifth through eighth grades.

Once a week, about 50 students meet after school with adult mentors, starting with a wellness lesson and then heading out for a group run.

“We talk abut how running can help us overcome challenges such as stress about schoolwork and developing relationships. The students tell us (it) is a place where they can take a break from the struggles of their lives and just have fun,” Buchanan Farmer said.

The Running 505 program also enters the young runners into fun runs in Albuquerque.

A new initiative is involving parents in fitness. “We’re including parents through a Sunday afternoon session with their children” at Cantina Crossfit gym, 12701 Candelaria NE, which opened its doors free of charge, Buchanan Farmer said.

Buchanan Farmer, an Albuquerque native and University of New Mexico graduate, taught in Albuquerque Public Schools from 1999 to 2011 before joining Highlands University faculty in fall semester 2016.

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