For a second year in a row, the ING Corporation has selected Keonepoko Elementary School in Pahoa as one of only 50 schools across the nation to receive a Run for Something Better Grant. The $2,500 grant is designed to inspire students to be more active and adopt healthy choices, both now and into the future.
On Oct. 23, ING representative Gavin Gruenberg expressed his pleasure at being able to present the award for a second time to Keonepoko, as it’s highly unusual for a school to receive the award more than once.
In 2011, Zennie Sawyer, Keonepoko’s physical education teacher and track coach, who for several years administrated the school’s successful “Mighty Milers” program, was treated to a surprise assembly for all her efforts.
This year, however, when notified that there was to be a second award, Sawyer took it upon herself to instead honor the hundreds of preschool-Grade 6 runners, five of whom have completed three full marathons.
On hand to congratulate all of these Keonepoko Mighty Milers, were representatives from the Department of Education, the Mayor’s Office, the County Council, the State House of Representatives and the State Senate.
Mighty Milers, as well as interested staff members, rack up their laps and miles and marathons throughout the school year by running during recesses, after school and at schoolwide fun runs such as the late-October FrankenFit Run and late-November Turkey Trot.
“Well done, Mighty Milers,” said Sawyer.