Westfield State and Southampton Road Elementary Collaborate on Fun Run Event

Apr 17, 2024
A stock photo of the silver campus globe. The sky above is blue, with green grass and vegetation around he globe itself, wrapped in by a black fence. Ely is in the distance, with a tree to the side of the frame.

The campus globe, a representation of the University's mission to reach out and engage with its communities.

Westfield State University and Southampton Road Elementary School recently joined forces for a dynamic event called the Fun Run,” aimed at promoting physical activity and teamwork among young students. The event, held from 9:40 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., saw enthusiastic participation from pre-K to 4th-grade students.

Organized by Jordan Conrad, a movement science major at Westfield State and substitute teacher at Southampton Road Elementary, and fellow classmate, Sarah Bingham, the Fun Run was arranged as part of the University's "Organization and Administration for Exercise Science" class. Bingham, who fondly remembered similar events from her own elementary school days, proposed a recreation of the event, leading to Conrad and her peers working to facilitate a memorable and engaging experience for the younger students.

The Fun Run itself featured a one-mile course dotted with exciting activities such as soccer stations,  tug-of-war , and mini-races at various intervals. The course design aimed to stimulate the students while aligning challenges with their age groups. Prizes were awarded to those who demonstrated exceptional skill and effort during the event.

Kate Bust, a special education teacher at Southampton Road Elementary, expressed excitement about the collaboration, stating, I love partnering with people in the community. Having Westfield State students come is going to be really motivating.”

Bust emphasized the importance of physical activity for overall well-being and highlighted the event's role in promoting teamwork and perseverance among students. “Our entire staff believes that physical activity is very important for peoples physical, mental, and emotional health. By having a day like this, were really sending that message to our students, that its worth finding a physical activity you enjoy, working as a team with your classmates, and having some perseverance through difficult things.”

To gather feedback and enhance future events, students were asked about their experiences at the Fun Run. They received goodie bags and worksheets on home exercises, acknowledging the challenge many children face in meeting daily physical activity recommendations. Westfield State University as well as its own students aim to make the Fun Run an annual tradition, emphasizing the value of healthy activity and community partnerships in nurturing well-rounded individuals.