Community Coordinator Profile: Kaitlyn Day and Jamie Walton of Lebanon, PA

Today we have a double-dose of Community Coordinator profiles! The Lebanon, PA Series has two outstanding leaders in Jamie Walton and Kaitlyn Day (Jamie’s son and a friend he met through Healthy Kids are on the left, and Kaitlyn and her son are on the right)!

“Who are you?” What is your background with your family, community
involvement and running?

Jamie: I am a wife to my high school sweetheart and mother to our 8 year old son.
We also have a cat, LaVar, and a Rottweiler, Dodge. I am the oldest of 4 and
grew up in Palmyra, PA. I played field hockey at Palmyra and continued at
Lebanon Valley College. I then attended graduate school at Penn State (GO
STATE!). I am currently the school counselor at Southeast Elementary School,
within the Lebanon School District, and have been a part of the district for
10 years.

Growing up, I had a strong dislike for running. Running was evil! It was
simply a necessity for participating in sports. It wasn’t until I met
Kaitlyn, my co-coordinator, that I started to run for fun. She pushed me to
hit the pavement, and it’s opened up a few doors in the process. I’ve
completed a handful of 5ks, including the Dutchie Dash, The Color Run (once
in State College and once in Hershey), Lebanon Fair 5k, The Flying Falcon
Glow Run 5k, and Give Thanks 5k. I currently have some bigger running goals
that I’m working towards in order to push my limits. I’m a member of the
local chapter of Moms Run This Town and I am a part of the IRun4 Community,
where I dedicate my daily exercise and runs to a child I was matched with. I
enjoy working out, and try to do so almost daily. I’m a huge Shaun T fan!

Kaitlyn: My family and I are very close and do a lot together. We are
very involved in our church community. As far as running goes I have been
running for the past 5 years, I have gotten my dad to join me and we run
numerous 5k’s/10’ks each year. He and I have completed two half marathons. I
am a pre-kindergarten teacher in our city school district.

Why did you become a Community Coordinator? What drew you to start a
Healthy Kids Running Series?

Jamie: In the summer of 2013, I was looking for a running opportunity for my then 5
year-old son. He was interested in running, and would participate in the
Kid’s Runs after my 5ks. He ran the final stretch of my first 5k right by my
side, smile beaming from ear-to-ear, and it is a special memory. We also ran
together in both Color Runs and in his school sponsored 5k (The Flying
Falcon Glow Run).
My search eventually brought me to a facebook post about Healthy Kids
Running Series. I immediately went to the website and started looking into
it. I loved the fact that it focused on kids, and something that’s just for
them. Students at my school are as young as 4 and as old as 12, and it was
something that they could all have the chance to participate in. There
wasn’t an emphasis on competitiveness, but on building relationships and
instilling a love for running.

Kaitlyn: I become a community coordinator with my co-worker to start up the
Lebanon series. We both enjoy helping kids and to run so we thought this
would be a great opportunity to mix the two together.

How have you been impacted by starting a Series?

Jamie: I have met some awesome families through Healthy Kids! We’ve become a
family, and our family gets stronger each and every season. I am so humbled
and grateful for this opportunity. I did not realize how impactful running
was to many people in the community until this series started in Lebanon.
This series has increased my desire to run more. I have become a better
leader, and only hope to continue to be the best coordinator that I can in
order for the runners to continue to have run and enjoy their series. Our
community lacks programs and opportunities for young children, and I’m glad
to make this an opportunity special just for them. To see all of the smiles
and watch the runners cheer each other warms my heart. Their excitement and
joy makes it all so worthwhile.

Kaitlyn: I get to see the joy that running can bring everyone, not just the kids
involved but the parents as well. It takes the love of running that parents
may have and gives their children an opportunity to do the same thing. Both
my parents help out with this program and it is so neat to have it be a
family event. I have a 16 month old that I am super excited for the day he
can participate.


If you’d like to get in touch with Jamie, you can reach her by email at jwalton@lebanon.k12.pa.us. Kaitlyn can be reached at kday@lebanon.k12.pa.us, and both through their Series’ Facebook page (Healthy Kids Running Series – Lebanon, PA).

 

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