Originally published June 2, 2023 by Spectrum News 1. 

By Alex Wilkinson

Pine Valley Elementary School students like to start their mornings with getting exercise, something that’s been shown to be effective at raising students’ grades.

Caitlin Hunter says she became a physical education teacher because she realized her love for the sports she played growing up could become her job.

After starting her career, she worked to begin the “Morning Milers” program at the Wilmington school.


Students grab a straw at the entrance as their ticket into their school’s track, and they get a Popsicle stick to help them remember their lap count. Hunter then tracks their progress and gives out rewards. She says it’s all about organization and being active.

“Come to school about 20 minutes early. They can check in with their teachers, come down to our track and just exercise. It’s kind of up to them. The only rule is you have to keep moving,” Hunter said.

The Morning Milers aren’t just for the kids — many parents come out to get their daily steps in as well.

“It’s just cool to kind of show kids that, yes, exercise isn’t always the most fun things that you can do, but there are a lot of ways to make it very fun. And I think one of them is getting families involved,” Hunter said.

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    PE teacher's before-school program helps students head to class more ready to learn.
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