/PRNewswire / -- Financial services leader ING today selected three winners of a student essay contest. The essay winners chronicled their accomplishments as participants in the ING Run For Something Better running program in metro Atlanta public middle schools.
The top three essays were submitted by the following students:
-- Erwin Dukes, Sammye E Coan Middle School, 7th grade
-- Jarleel Earby, McNair Middle School, 8th Grade
-- Michael Starr, Ridgeview Charter School, 6th grade
The contest was open to students in 26 middle schools of Atlanta Public Schools, Fulton County and Decatur Middle School who have been participating in the program and were challenged to run 13.1 miles over 9 weeks in their P.E. classes. All students are invited to complete the "final mile" of their cumulative half marathon Sunday, March 29, at 11:30 a.m. during the ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon. The kids will run a special race and get the thrill of crossing the same finish line as the adults. Transportation, lunches, T-shirts, finisher medals and entertainment are provided to students at the event.
"We know that children are learning many positive lessons through ING Run For Something Better, not only about staying healthy and fit, but also about setting goals and working hard to achieve them," said Rhonda Mims, president, ING Foundation and senior vice president, Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. "Sponsoring an essay contest was a fantastic way to hear from the students in metro Atlanta in their very own words how the program is helping them."
As part of the essay contest, students explained what they liked best about ING Run For Something Better. They were asked to describe how running makes them feel, what they learned about fitness and exercise, who inspired them to be healthy and how they planned to stay fit after completing their half marathon. ING staff selected the top three winners. Each student is invited to attend a special ING Run For Something Better teacher appreciation luncheon on Friday, March 27.
"For the past three years, ING Run For Something Better has served as a great complement to our physical education curriculum," said Billette Owens-Ashford, director of Physical Education and Athletics for Atlanta Public Schools. "Through this essay contest, we're realizing that students are encouraging their parents and family members to stay fit. This tells us that the program can be a positive influence both in the classroom and at home."
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