Cutler Elementary School Students Walk to Disney World!
January 27, 2016

On December 18, Students at Bay Ridge Elementary School in Cutler celebrated the completion of an epic journey, walking over 1,600 miles – or the distance from Cutler, Maine to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida – as part of the school’s Mileage Club program.

The Bay Ridge Mileage Club is an adaptation of Fitness Finders’ Feelin’ Good Mileage Club, an elementary school exercise program adopted by schools throughout North America. Participating students walk a pre-measured, quarter-mile route on their school campus and record their progress on Mileage Marker cards. Once a student has logged five miles, he/she will receive a necklace with a Toe Token (brightly colored plastic foot). For each subsequent five miles walked, students receive an additional Toe Token to add to their necklace.

At the start of the school year, parent Belinda Lemieux took on coordination of the program, with the parent/teachers group helping to purchase program supplies. The student body set their bar high - committing as a group to walk over 1,600 miles – equivalent to the distance between their school and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. They began their journey in early September and reached their goal in early December.

On a whim, school nurse Lori Martin contacted Walt Disney World to see if they might provide the students with incentives for reaching their goal. To her surprise, they came through. The students received a certificate, an autographed photo of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and a letter congratulating them on reaching their goal.

To celebrate their success, the students were treated to a pizza party and a movie, complete with homemade cupcakes featuring Disney characters made by Food Service Director Kandee Ramsdell. Martin and other staff made Mickey ears for the students and staff and the student council members painted a castle backdrop for photos. Sandra Sinford provided Disney costumes for students from Washington Academy and Machias Memorial High School, who posed for pictures with the Bay Ridge students.

The Mileage Club program, introduced to A.O.S. #96 schools by Healthy Acadia, has been adopted by Bay Ridge and other schools in the district to help students burn off excess energy, improve school performance, build self-esteem, and motivate them to incorporate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives. To learn more about the Mileage Club program and how to get your school involved, contact Terri Woodruff at Healthy Acadia: 255-3741 or terri@healthyacadia.org