Posted by SKEF on April 20 2015
Awesome Day at Salem Heights generates excitement for run
Pharrell Williams’s "Happy" echoes through the gym at Salem Heights
Elementary School as the first P.E. students of the day dance their
sillies out - a warmup for the jogging, stretching and other fitness
activities of their class.
"Did you wear a shirt that you think is awesome?" teacher Dave Lemons asks the kids, who respond by showing him their favorite shirts.
The familiar Awesome 3000 gator grins from Lemons’s own orange t-shirt. It’s Awesome Day at Salem
Heights, two weeks before the big run, and Lemons is doing all he can to promote the event to his
students. He encourages everyone to wear an Awesome 3000 shirt, or just any shirt they consider to be awesome.
Lemons began holding Awesome Day about 10 years ago. It’s one of many methods he uses to boost excitement for the event among children and parents. Another project is a shoe wall — students who bring in a parental note confirming they are registered get to decorate a shoe and hang it.
Typically about 80-90 students from the school of 300 participate in Awesome 3000.
“The Awesome is a fun activity where everyone’s a winner. It’s a really positive experience for the kids,”
Lemons says. “I tell my students that even if they aren’t running the Awesome, the training is good for
their body and for their brain.”