Why? Because those students are active members of the Darien Elementary School Electrifying Eagles Walking Club.
The club, which has been around for about 10 years at the school, is an alternative to outdoor recess in the morning hours.
Students walk laps around the school’s main hallways each day from about 7:55 a.m. until 8:15 a.m. It’s eight laps to a mile and most students do at least that many in the 20 minutes or so of walking.
Students keep track of the days that they walk and earn a foot-shaped charm for each day they make laps. Some of the older students had charm necklaces that were nearly full, having participated since kindergarten. (A state grant funded the charms and necklaces.)
Second grade teacher Christine Schleden said the walking club is a healthy activity that students can enjoy with friends or parents.
“It gives them an option of something that’s constructive to do,” Schleden said. “They’re walking and they’re socializing. They’re making new friends. It’s amazing to see some of the big kids walking with the little kids. And, it gives them more family involvement with their health.”
The activity also helps students get ready for the day of learning ahead of them, Schleden said. Coats and boots are off and stored in students’ lockers, backpacks are put away, and students are relaxed more after walking since all their “wiggles” are out.