On Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays this semester, passersby may have noticed runners along the pathways of Forrest Moore Park. It’s not the cross country or track teams practicing, it’s Van Alstyne Elementary School’s Run Club.


Leigh Wood, a fourth grade teacher at VAES, started the Panther Run Club for elementary school students to get active. Currently, Panther Run Club consists primarily of fourth graders, though younger students are more than welcome. About 25 students join Wood after school to run laps around the park and with the help of trainer, Pam Carroll, they have been training for the Little Big Town 5K coming up on May 6.


This group of students show that just because school athletics do not start until middle school, elementary students can stay active, too. Wood said that some of the students are already setting goals. One student said that he wants to “get a track scholarship to MIT.”


Look for the Panther Run Club in their bright green shirts at the Little Big Town 5K and Family Fun Run on Saturday, May 6. All proceeds from the run directly benefit the Van Alstyne Education Foundation. Community members, avid runners, and beginners are all encouraged to participate in the run. Race day registrations will be available.