Monday, March 09, 2015
yesterday K participated in the Rod Dixon KiDMARATHON at Dodger Stadium. This is the kick-off event for the L.A. Marathon, as well as the culmination of 3 weeks of preparation by the marathon team at her school. the team is coached by our after-school "Youth Services" leader. this *free* program is available to all LAUSD elementary and middle school students. the ratio is a little daunting at times - one coach watching over 100 or so students - but I am constantly and consistently impressed with this program. K doesn't usually stay after school (another perk of working from home) but did in order to be a member of the marathon team. the team had to run 25 miles over the last few weeks, and then completed their marathon (1.2 miles) at Dodger Stadium early Sunday morning. (ouch! time change pain!)
i have been working / volunteering in our large, cumbersome, impersonal school district for over 10 years now. and as large, cumbersome and impersonal as it is, events like this remind me of why we are here. The Los Angeles Unified School District is Los Angeles. with I'd guess around 12,000 kids participating in this event (250 elementary schools represented) you felt like you were in the midst of something very special. these kids are our future L.A. and they are awesome. so proud of my girl. so proud of these kids. so proud of our school. so proud to be part of this District.
and props too, to their parents. who perhaps can't show up to every school activity during the week due to work schedules (with often more than one job). (there's been lots of buzz re: apathetic parents lately. lack of parent engagement. engagement does not = writing cheques!) they were there. they got up early and brought their kids and cheered them on at the top of their lungs. the love for neighborhood schools was palatable.
Los Angeles UNIFIED.
i'll add for posterity, k tied for 2nd out of the girls running in her group. she is a natural. those long legs. best part is that she ran with a friend the entire way. they crossed the finish line together - high-fived, then giant hug. love.