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4th Graders Run The Oregon Trail

Mr. Carson's 4th grade class runs every week, twice a week and track their mileage on an Oregon map. Their goal is to run the entire length of the Oregon Trail.

Posted: May 10, 2018 4:38 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 10:16 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The students in Mr. Carson's class run every week, twice a week, at least 1 mile each. They started back in January and not too long ago they got a special surprise to help them track their journey.

"When we got it some people had tears and I was kind of getting teary-eyed too because we didn't know Mr. Carson was doing this for all of us," said 4th grader, Jorgia.

Mr. Carson had put together a donation page on choosedonors.org asking for donations so that he could buy each one of his 28 students a Fitbit.

"When I set up the thing for the Fitbit I wasn’t 100% sure when it would happen or if it would happen. It happened within a week so that was great!" said Kyle Carson, a 4th grade teacher at Orchard Hills Elementary School and the organizer of the Oregon Trail Run.

Mr. Carson started out making tally marks for every student every time they completed a lap and then marking their time on his watch. Now with the new Fitbits the students are directly involved in tracking their mileage. At the end of every run they write down how many steps and miles they completed and then they map out how far they went on the Oregon trail. Each student has his own personal map of the trail with their own distances.

Mr. Carson says that the bi-weekly runs have done much more than help him teach history.

"They're learning a lot more about commitment too. We say, no matter what, if it's raining, if it's cold, if the sprinklers are on, if it's hot, we will always come out. I think it's good for them to learn that being dedicated to something and working towards a goal," he explained that for many of the students this is one of their first long-term goals they have ever set for themselves, "I think too, now with kids, everything is so instant; everything is at their fingertips. So to have something that is a six-month goal that we're constantly working towards has been really cool for them to learn and practice and see."

Now the students are excited and they look forward to the runs but at the whole idea had a bumpy start, "Once we talked about the fact that running is more about improving for yourself and it doesn’t matter how fast you go you know you can walk you can run it’s just about you getting better once we kind of learned that then it really changed for a lot of the kids," said Carson, "We also learned about encouraging each other like I said it’s not a race it’s not about who can get here first it’s about all of us trying to get better together."

Even beyond running, Mr. Carson says that he has noticed a difference in the classroom too.

"At the elementary level now so much of it is just reading and math; there's other standards but those two especially, so some of the kids, if they don’t feel successful in those two situations then they just don’t feel like they're successful at school. The fact that we’ve added the running part in and kids can be active out here and find success that way maybe rather than in other ways and allows them to connect more with school which I think is important too," explained Carson.

The class plans on finishing the trail before the end of the school year and Mr. Carson says he will definitely be incorporating this in future classes as well.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 65170

Reported Deaths: 820
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah14988210
Washington881596
Marion8321127
Clackamas535376
Umatilla409948
Lane382037
Jackson335623
Malheur230839
Deschutes191114
Yamhill156516
Linn126018
Polk105115
Douglas80415
Jefferson76511
Benton7097
Union6912
Klamath6854
Morrow6197
Lincoln56313
Wasco47218
Josephine4314
Columbia4223
Coos3831
Hood River3611
Clatsop3330
Baker2573
Crook1906
Grant1221
Tillamook1110
Curry1052
Lake980
Harney861
Wallowa702
Sherman230
Gilliam210
Wheeler20
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1114524

Reported Deaths: 18726
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3645207438
San Bernardino845311129
Riverside806761400
San Diego71648968
Orange696941554
Kern38316445
Fresno35973471
Sacramento33133546
Santa Clara30676463
Alameda27485499
San Joaquin24649503
Contra Costa22412258
Stanislaus20370416
Tulare19752303
Ventura18040174
Imperial15053353
San Francisco14445158
Monterey13886113
San Mateo13203169
Sonoma11428155
Merced10986176
Santa Barbara10922133
Kings1003886
Solano934980
Marin7518128
Placer577867
Madera571480
San Luis Obispo561835
Yolo419975
Shasta409542
Santa Cruz389827
Butte366459
Napa275717
Sutter263813
El Dorado19304
San Benito174115
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Siskiyou4951
Amador45016
Calaveras43421
Inyo28316
Del Norte2731
Plumas1770
Trinity1130
Modoc1110
Mariposa1042
Alpine420
Sierra170
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