The Little Strides program is designed to instill the importance of daily physical activity in early childhood classrooms. Studies have shown that the earlier a child is exposed to physical activity the more likely they are to maintain a healthier lifestyle into adulthood. The Little Strides curriculum uses games and activities to excite young children to exercise. These activities also focus on developing vital gross motor skills that students need upon entering elementary school. Students exercise three to five times a week, each time earning a sticker to fill up the exercise board! Filling up a sticker board will earn each student a Chicago Run incentive (such as a pencil, water bottle, or notebook).
The Little Strides program supports early childhood classrooms by providing ways to incorporate physical activity throughout the school day. The curriculum includes the physical activity goals that are listed in the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards as well as the GOLD standard curriculum for all early education teachers, therefore giving teachers a guide to teaching physical fitness in the preschool classroom. Students will participate in different games and activities that work on skipping, shuffling, running, jumping, etc. The focus is to improve gross motor skills so that children are ready to enter elementary school. During the winter months, to stay active, students take advantage of our classroom fit kit that includes fitness videos and indoor exercise routines that can be done with limited space. All curriculum is compliant with the CPS STARTwell policy that states students must receive 10 minutes of structured daily activity.
The Little Strides program allows preschool classrooms to work together to achieve their fitness goals. As a classroom, students will exercise to earn stickers to fill up their Chicago Run Sticker board. Students will earn more prizes, the more sticker boards they complete. Students will be able to visually see their accomplishments and progress through the sticker board increasing self-esteem and enthusiasm for physical activity.
The Chicago Run Fall and Spring Fun Runs are opportunities for students to share their running experiences with their families, but also a chance for our diverse communities to unite and celebrate as one. Our Chicago Run Family Page allows parents and family members the ability to bring Chicago Run into the home and participate alongside their child. Participation and assistance with school-based Wellness Teams and initiatives are just a few other ways that Chicago Run is helping to build active and healthy communities.