Read Run Root is a program which encourages both children and families to engage in a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically.
Reading has many benefits. It exposes children to more words, which can lead to higher test scores as well as higher levels of intelligence, in general. Reading regularly makes your brain work better. It helps some people relax. And, reading a book (as opposed to an e-book) helps some people fall asleep. School-aged children often stop reading regularly during summer break. This can result in up to a 2 month loss of knowledge by the start of the next school year. In short, reading regularly promotes a healthy brain.
Running, well, exercise, has many benefits as well. It helps prevent chronic disease, and keeps the body physically well. The current childhood obesity epidemic has been accompanied by an increase in high cholesterol in children, type 2 diabetes in children, and obstructive sleep apnea, along with other conditions previously thought of as “grown up” problems. Physical education is no longer a priority in schools. In addition, with two working parents in many families, the opportunity to do something as simple as go to the playground after school doesn’t exist. Instead, exhausted parents turn to electronics to entertain their children.
Root…….this one is the simplest concept, yet the most difficult to accomplish. Five servings of fruits and vegetables a day……some children do well to get five servings in a month. A fair number of today’s young parents don’t know what a vegetable garden is…..they don’t know what a Farmer’s Market is…….they don’t know how to cook something unless it can go in the microwave. They don’t realize juice, and fruit roll-ups, aren’t the same as fresh fruit. They work long days, and turn to carry-out, drive-through, or easy to fix processed foods for dinner.
Through ReadRunRoot, the hope is that more children, parents, and families will discover how to make small changes to improve their quality of life. Soon, we will have tracking charts/reward charts which can be downloaded and printed at home. We will have links for local resources, as well as age-appropriate links for reading and exercise. We also encourage everyone to follow our Facebook Page, and post pictures of books you are reading, activities you are doing, fresh fruits and vegetables you are eating, gardens you are growing, Farmer’s Markets you are visiting, recipes you are trying, etc.
Healthy body…..healthy mind…….healthy life
And who knows, there may be prizes:-)