Pam Ross was a great Staples field hockey player. After graduating in 1977, she starred at the University of Connecticut.
Today, Pam Ross Maynard is an elementary school nurse. She hasn’t lost her passion for physical fitness. The result: Students at her inner-city school are thriving academically, socially and healthfully.
In 2013, “Nurse Pam” ran a staff-wide “Biggest Loser” weight-loss contest at Elias Brookings Elementary School in Springfield, Massachusetts. A few kids asked to join.
Inspired, Pam discovered the “100 Mile Club.” The national program encourages youngsters to reach 100 miles over the course of a year. Every 15 minutes spent playing, walking or running is worth 1 mile.
So, 3 times a week — from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. — Pam and the school’s phys. ed. teacher convene the 100 Mile Club.
The results have been “staggering,” according to the video above. Attendance rates soared; academic benefits are clear. Parents have joined the program too, and walk with their children.
Brookings has a few strikes against it. 98% of the students live below the poverty line. In 2011, the school was devastated by a tornado.
But it’s been rebuilt. Now — thanks to Nurse Pam and a few others, all of whom volunteer their time — the children are thriving.
And learning lessons that will last a lifetime, inside the classroom and out.
(Hat tip: Nancy Kondub)