Kids Run Arkansas has record-breaking year

Young people from six counties converged on Conway last week for the Eighth Annual Kids Run Arkansas.

The event, held April 15 at Laurel Park, featured a 1-mile and 3-mile run/walk for kids of all ages as well as face painting, games and other activities. It is sponsored by Conway Regional Health & Fitness Center.

According to organizer Amanda Castillo, there was a record number 1,039 participants who registered. “We had 52 schools and six counties represented.”

The event is presented by Groovy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.

Each year, the schools with the highest percentage of participation are awarded scholarships for their physical education programs. In 2015, $4,600 was awarded.

“Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center is proud to award a total of $9,000 in scholarships through Kids Run Arkansas,” said Castillo.

Kids Run Arkansas organizers Mallory Lefler (left) and Amanda Castillo.

The Top 10 schools in participation (all located in Conway):

St. Joseph – $2,000

Woodrow Cummins Elementary – $1,500

Ellen Smith Elementary – $1,300

Jim Stone Elementary – $1,100

Theodore Jones Elementary – $1,000

Julia Lee Moore Elementary – $800

Conway Christian Elementary – $600

Ruth Doyle Intermediate – $300

Simon Intermediate – $200

Carolyn Lewis Elementary – $200

Young people and their friends and family gather at Conway’s Laurel Park for the Eighth Annual Kids Run Arkansas.

Kids Run Arkansas was established in 2008 with registration increasing from 209 to nearly 750 in 2014. Last year, there were 745 kids who participated.

The event is presented by Groovy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. “Groovy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is excited to sponsor Kids Run Arkansas because there are many aspects to growing healthy kids, including healthy teeth!” said Dr. Aaron Forrester. “There is a strong correlation between diet, exercise, and oral health.”

“A big thank you to the title sponsor, Groovy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry!” said Castillo.