A Mile In Their Shoes


Big shoutout to Mrs. Stacie Kessler, our incredible $24K in ’24 winner! She shared an awesome article she wrote for her town paper. Thanks for spreading the positivity!


According to Atticus Finch, the admirable dad in To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you walk a mile in their shoes.”

While not walking in each other’s literal or figurative shoes, for the past few years, St. Francis second grade teacher Mrs. Stacie Kessler and her students have been walking a mile each school day.  The students could change that line from Atticus Finch to read, “You never really feel alive until you walk a daily mile with Mrs. Kessler!”

Mrs. Kessler signed up with The Daily Mile, a nonprofit organization that encourages movement for more focused students and a better learning outcome.  Science tells us that movement keeps kids healthy, happy, and ready to engage in classroom learning.  Mrs. Kessler agrees saying, “I signed my class up for The Daily Mile about 4 or 5 years ago and we have been doing it every year since.  It benefits the kids’ well-being so much.”  One of the greatest things about this is that it is a full-inclusion activity; all kids of all ability levels can participate and enjoy the time outdoors with their classmates. 

They walk—or run, or hop, or skip–around the outside of the elementary school on the sidewalk for 15 minutes each day at about 12:45 p.m.  This helps to ward off the after-lunch sleepiness that so often creeps up on students and, if we are being honest, teachers as well.  The kids talk and sing and laugh and play freely as they move.  Mrs. Kessler wanted to share the joy of this walk each day so she invited Miss Tuma and the first-grade class to come along and they join most days.

The Daily Mile is an international movement that, according to their website www.thedailymile.us, is in 96 countries in 20,486 schools with 5,230,795 kids signed up to take part around the world and the St. Francis second-grade class of 25 is part of that number!

Recently, Mrs. Kessler won some money from The Daily Mile organization.  She explained, “I entered a giveaway by filling out a survey about all the benefits of getting our kids outside and moving each day.  I was blown away when they notified me that I had won!”  The organization chose 12 winners in the spring and will choose 12 more in the fall.

The money she won is earmarked for classroom items to help with social learning, inclusion and being active, such as games, new Nerf balls, and recess equipment.