Millions of Steps Later, We Have a Winner!
By Office of Communication
Posted on September 19, 2012, September 19, 2012

Bill & Margie Bryant Elementary sixth grader Skylar Searcy did more than simply move with the mayor this summer. She ran, she jumped, she skipped, she trotted, she glided, she rolled over in the park grass which, technically, she said, is moving. You name it and Skylar did it as long as it recorded a step on her pedometer.

So that's how one accumulates 60 million steps and be tops among all AISD fifth graders who participated in the Move with the Mayor program that challenges students to count their steps while promoting fitness.

When Mayor Robert Cluck showed up at Bryant Monday morning to make the surprise announcement of Skylar's total he had to do a double take himself.

"Wow," he said. "That's more than second and third place combined."

Sure is. Romello Watson was second by recording over 9 million steps - he's Skylar's classmate at Bryant. Hannah Robinson of Mary Moore Elementary took just over 8 million steps, which is actually higher than first place last year and the year before.

More than 4,500 students took part in Move with the Mayor. In May, at the end of their fifth grade years, the students were given the pedometers and asked to track their steps with the hopes of doing at least 10,000. The hardest part, the students say, is remembering to put the pedometer on.

"But it was so cool to do this," said Romello.

This is actually a program inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama whose platform has been combating obesity among children. She asked mayors around the country to join her Let's Move campaign for a holistic approach to fighting childhood obesity.

Arlington ISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos joined Cluck during the surprise visits, as did the parents of the students, who seemed as surprised by the end total even though they watched them rip and run over the summer.

"At the beginning of the summer she was saying how she didn't want to go anywhere without the pedometer, and I said, yeah, well, let's see how long that lasts," said Christa Searcy, Skylar's mother. "It became clear that she was really committed to this and carried it through. Wherever she went there was that pedometer right with her."

Romello said most of his steps came while attending summer camps where he walked and ran a lot. "After a few weeks wearing it wasn't a big deal," Romello said of the pedometer. "It was like putting on anything else, like my clothes."

Cluck said Move with the Mayor has become "really successful" partly because it has the potential to help so many over a long period of time.

"The idea is for the kids to get fit and healthy and then transform their parents to be healthy and fit if they are not regular exercisers," Cluck said. "If we can do that, it simply makes for a healthier community, a more active city, a better city."

By Ken Perkins


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