Race for Health and Wellness

The elementary cross country kids ran a different style of race last weekend. They took part in the Mandaree Warrior Run. The Mandaree School hosted a fundraiser to improve health and wellness awareness in the school.  Invitations for the Mandaree Warrior Run fundraiser were sent out to fifty-five area schools.

By Alanna Tomjack

For the DC Herald

Killdeer and New Town school districts helped make up the 48 runners on Saturday.

Rebecca Burkstrand, Mandaree Physical Education Instructor, said that although Mandaree competes in the races around the area; Mandaree School has never hosted a race as far as she knew.

The one mile course consisted of four obstacles:  a color zone, mud pits, hay walls and a tire maze. Tires were laid out on the ground and the runners had to high step their way through.

The race ended after volunteers threw powdered colors on the runners after they ran through the long mud trough. The crowd of competitors was filled with smiles at the finish line.

Kimberly Stulken, Killdeer sixth grade teacher volunteered to help with the Warrior Run. She commented “I thought it went really great. The kids seemed like they had a lot of fun.”

Principal Lance Jackson came up with the idea of the Warrior Run. Burkstrand ran with the idea for a fundraiser.  She went into the race without a financial goal. Burkstrand said with a smile “I went into it bright eyed and bushy tailed.”

The Mandaree School is supported half by federal funds and half by tribal funds. When asked why extra funding is needed, Burkstrand stated that there is minimal amount in the budget. She said that if they raise the money instead of asking for a budget increase; it would allow them more freedom for wellness activities.

Eating healthy is essential to physical education. Burkstrand sees chips in the hands of many students during the morning snack time. However, she would like to see fresh fruit in the hands of the kids and that is something not readily available in Mandaree. Some of the raised funds will be to provide nutritional snacks to the students.

The funds are also for winter activities. Burkstrand stated that it is hard to get the kids outside during the winter time. Last year, she discussed the idea of buying sleds for PE equipment. They would be able to have fun and get exercise while sledding down the nearby hills.

Burkstrand also spoke with the seventh through twelfth grades about skiing. None of them had ever skied before. She stated without an organization activity, like a school activity, most would never have that chance. They are planning a possible ski trip in February.

Burkstrand wanted to thank the sponsors: New Town American Legion, Whiting Petroleum, CashWise Foods, Taco Johns of Dickinson, and United Prairie Cooperative.

It is really the children who benefit from donations. The health and wellness plans would apply to approximatly 250 students in attendance at the Mandaree School. Since July she has raised $550. Any person or business may contact the school if they would like to help by calling (701) 759-3311. The Mandaree School contact information is also on their website.


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