The Morning Mile (TMM)
Although it is hard to believe, The Morning Mile (TMM) really has nothing to do with the one-mile distance. It’s more about getting moving. Every day students walk or run laps around a track or course to earn rewards for their accomplishment. It’s not the first program of its kind. Founder Fitz Koehler, has continually streamlined the best practices approach. It is very popular in hundreds of schools.
Australia’s Daily PE program of the 80s and 90s sought to do similar things; but the take up by schools was ineffective. Manuals filled with lesson plans, music and extension skills were provided to schools right across the country through corporate sponsorship. The fundamental flaws quickly became evident.
The Morning Mile Story
The word “club” is also banned for its connotations of exclusivity. And friendly competition between friends, classrooms, and grades are encouraged.
She must be doing something right: According to Koehler, TMM schools average 65 to 97 percent participation from their student bodies, and examples of exceptional students, grades, and schools abound. Most mornings when Tribby arrives to start the music, more than a dozen students are already waiting on the track.
“As soon as they start running, you can hear them laughing and calling to each other,” Tribby says. “They love running; getting them to slow down is the trick.”
Why TMM is so Effective
Another strength of TMM is how little is needed: just necklaces, plastic charms, outdoor speakers, donated time for coordinators, any kind of runnable loop, and maintenance costs for the tracking software. This may be the key to the success of the program over Australia’s Daily PE.
But to cover costs the program does incur, Koehler works to find sponsors for each school, which can range from health-focused corporations to enthusiastic local businesses. Under Armour launched a campaign through its MapMyRun community that will fund new TMM schools in several major cities.
Inspired by the Morning Milers? The Big Book of Running for Beginners will take you through everything you need to know to get started, step by step.