Flushing’s P.S. 164 students run 30K miles, win 500 books

Julianne DiDominico
Photo courtesy Julianne DiDominico


If P.S. 164 students are tired from all the running they did, soon they’ll be able to sit back and indulge in hundreds of new books.

Students at the Flushing school ran almost 30,000 cumulative miles through the school year to win the grand prize of 500 books from the Miles for Books campaign of the New York Road Runners (NYRR), the organization recently announced. The school will hold a ceremony in June when it receives its prize.

The campaign worked through the NYRR’s Mighty Milers, an initiative to encourage children to run throughout the school year, and offered books based on the number of miles schools ran through March. Schools that averaged the most miles won 100 new books, but only one institution with the overall most miles could win the grand prize of an additional 400 books.

At P.S. 164 more than 600 students ran an average of nearly 50 miles per student for the year.

“Our Miles for Books month was a huge success. It was a running frenzy,” said P.S. 164 physical education teacher Julianne DiDominico, who organized the running. “It is very difficult finding something that will bring students in a K-8 school together for a common goal, and Miles for Books month has done just that.”

The school’s library has many worn and outdated books, DiDominico said, and was denied a grant for new ones. During the month, students in gym classes ran a certain amount of miles per day and were awarded incentives based on their accomplishments. They also incorporated fun drills, such as dribbling, and academic skills, including doing math to figure out personal goals.

“The teachers and administration were amazed with how [the running] had become a part of our school culture,” DiDominico said.



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