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Teacher: Jm Ross who teaches at Orchard School in Ridgewood, NJ. Jm Ross can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Jingle Bell Jog

Rationale/Purpose of Event: The students will make the connection of doing something positive for people in need by offering this student activity that reaches out to the entire surrounding community.

Suggested Grade Level: K-12

Materials Needed: Popsicle sticks or straws, pinnies (to designate smaller groups), clipboards and pencils to record scores, a defined running/walking "track".

Jingle Bell Jog

The Jingle Bell Jog is an all-school event combining fitness and community service. The students of Orchard School ask family, friends and neighbors to be sponsors for a “jog/walk-a-thon”. The sponsors donate a specific number of non-perishable items for every lap that the child jogs/walks during a 15 minute time limit. The number of laps accomplished by the child is multiplied by the pledge to determine the total number of items that the sponsor will donate. For example, if someone pledges 2 items for every lap, and the student completes 5 laps, the donation would be 10 items. The donation may include any non-perishable item such as canned food, soap, shampoo, and paper towels. Students complete the activity during regularly scheduled Physical Education classes.


Our laps are 1/8th of a mile in distance. Most students in K-2 complete a 8 laps in the 15 minutes. Students in grades 3-5 normally average around 11 laps. Adjust the distance to meet your school's goals.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

We have found a number of strategies to help enhance the experience.


1) Give each student a popsicle stick for every completed lap. At the end of the time limit, the students count their sticks to determine the number of laps completed.
2) Break down the classes into smaller groups. Parent volunteers can be in charge of a group - handing out sticks, helping with pinnies, recording scores, etc.


1) Music is a must ("Jingle Bell Rock" is a good starting song)
2) Invite special guests to run with the classes. Asking local politicians, HS athletes, school board members, police officers, and fire fighters to participate is a good start.
3) Set school goals for mileage completed and number of items collected.
4) The parent association at Orchard School purchase 2 bells for each student. The students wear the bells while jogging. It sounds very cool!

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Provide the student with a buddy with whom to complete the 15 minutes. The laps should be doubled or tripled in value, depending on the disability, to make scores consistent with the rest of the grade level.

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Posted on PEC: 1/4/2004 and has received 69 votes.

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