School counselor and champion of The Daily Mile Alisson Bonner receives the 2020 Physical Activity Leader award 

Alisson (Ali) will receive her PAL award at the SHAPE Washington conference in March 2021. Melanie Flink, physical education teacher and 2015 recipient of the Mabel Lee SHAPE award, initiated the nomination.

Your work with The Daily Mile, USA is foundational for health advances in kids. In a utopic world, with enough time and energy for staff, how would you integrate this into curriculum across the district?

The Daily Mile is just one of many innovative ideas that have the potential to transform student lives, acknowledging that we have a new generation of kids who are moving less, sitting more, and facing more mental health challenges that ever before. The Daily Mile is a simple daily movement program aimed to get students walking, jogging or running 15 minutes a day, three to five days per week during the school day. It is free, flexible, and accessible for all students at any fitness level. This simple program can increase movement opportunities for kids by 45 minutes to an hour each week, ensuring all students get a jump start toward reaching the recommended 60 minutes per day of exercise, not just students that have the means to access outside recreational opportunities. It is a wonderful complement to PE, adding valuable movement time for kids when teachers feel their kids most need a brain boost. Several staff at schools around our district have already successfully integrated The Daily Mile into their classroom routines by scheduling the program into their daily plan. This year at Columbia we also demonstrated it was possible to align this program with social emotional learning (SEL) lessons. It was a valuable tool for building relationships with students and heart-warming to watch students connect with each other and with students across other grade levels on their daily runs.

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Alisson Bonner
Alisson Bonner