Roland-Story Elementary School’s annual Go the Distance Day was postponed for 24 hours this year because heavy rainfall earlier in the week made for soggy conditions on the playground on Thursday. But by Friday afternoon, under a sunny spring sky, the spirits of the more than 400 students, faculty and staff were flying high.


Physical education instructor Cathy Braathun led the playground full of kids and adults in four dances, but not before she had a brief talk about the importance of being physically active every day, the benefits of regular physical activity and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.


“It’s important to be physically active how many minutes a day?” Braathun asked over a loudspeaker. “Sixty!” the kids yelled in response.


Talking for a few minutes about healthy habits, Braathun had the kids repeat after her: Get eight hours of sleep. Drink plenty of water. Eat nutritious food. No smoking. No drugs.


She told them some of the benefits of exercise: It helps you look good, feel good, enjoy life, improve your school work and strengthen your heart.


Then came the part that got everyone’s toes tapping and hearts beating. The kids, teachers and staff did four dances, the Chicken Dance, the Macarena, the Slide and the Conga.


After the dances, everyone went to the practice football field, where they walked or ran laps. At the end of Go the Distance Day, each participant had experienced 30 minutes of physical activity.


“This is one of my favorite days because I love to see all of the students out here with the teachers and the faculty and the staff,” Braathun said. “It’s one of my favorite days because it’s a fun event, and it brings the whole school outside to enjoy an activity together.”