When Bursley 3rd -5th grade boys gather together after school twice a week for TREK, their focus is not merely to work on flexibility or speed — they’re working to develop their individuality and strengths, both mental and physical.
TREK, which is short for Total Trek Quest, is organized by coaches who are dedicated to helping boys understand the benefits of healthy living and the risks of substance abuse. One of the coaches’ main goal is to develop strong social and relational skills, and for boys to exit the program feeling valued for who they are.
For nine weeks, TREK uses high energy, structured practices to instill these values into a group of 10-15 young men. With a shared goal of running a 5K, students learn to trust one another, work together, encourage their team mates and soar to new heights. To reach those goals, Principal Garcia says that TREK kids spend their 90 minute practices…
- eating a healthy snack (donations appreciated)
- working together on at least one learning activity
- playing games
- completing strength and stretching exercises
- building stamina through running
With volunteer coaches stepping in to make a difference in the lives of students, Principal Garcia said,
“As a principal (and mom) I appreciate that the program helps kids set their eyes on a large goal and shows them that long term commitment, practice and dedication will help them reach their goal. The physical challenge and sense of team is great for developing strength of character. For kids who participate in multiple seasons, it helps them to see the long term benefits. For example, all of our elementary school 4th, 5th and 6th graders complete a timed mile run in the fall and spring of each year for their physical education class. The kids that are in the TREK program (who have been running after school) are amazed at how much time they can cut off their time. A few have even cut their time by 50% because of this program.”
Last spring, WOTV and Miranda did a spotlight on this program from a county-wide standpoint. While not focused on Jenison in particular, this video clip does an outstanding job of calling special attention to the unique nature of TREK.