November 14, 2016

How to Host a Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate what we’re thankful for each year. While holiday celebrations can be synonymous with unhealthy food and a lack of physical activity, schools across the country have found a creative way to get students moving while also celebrating this annual holiday.

Hosting a holiday-themed run/walk, or a “Turkey Trot,” is a fun and healthy way to bring students, parents and community members together around Thanksgiving. In addition to providing the chance to get moving, a Turkey Trot can also serve as a way to raise money for your school, while supporting the healthy habits you champion all year long!

3 Turkey Trot Tips from #HealthySchools:

1. Get the Community Involved

For the students of Ernest Gallet Elementary in Youngsville, Louisiana, having the chance to be active with their parents at school is a special treat. Each year, staff, students and parents participate in the school’s Turkey Trot – the effects of which last well beyond the day. “Everyone has a great time,” says Physical Education Teacher Debra Thrower. “A good number of students continue to exercise with their families outside of school as a result of the Turkey Trot.”

2. Incentivize Participants with Healthy Prizes

At Mangum Elementary in Bahama, North Carolina, the whole community turns out for its annual Turkey Trot – students, staff, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even the local sheriff’s department. In addition to providing a healthy snack and bottled water after the event, Mangum awards students who complete the race with a necklace and token in the shape of a turkey. “This acts as a medal that symbolizes their participation,” says Wellness Coordinator Steve Mayhew. “They love it!”


3. Make it a Fundraiser

Hendricks Elementary in McAllen, Texas is proof that Turkey Trot races can not only be fun, but profitable! Last year, roughly 200 students and 30 parents and staff participated in the one-mile run. “It was a big success,” says Physical Education Teacher Jose R. Diaz. “Students and parents were heavily involved in organizing the event.” This year, Hendricks is anticipating even more participation – and more funds raised to support the school’s physical education department!

Visit our online training center to find more on-demand trainings and resources to support students’ health during the holiday season.