CARSON, Calif. (KABC) --The 100 Mile Club is helping to promote physical fitness among young students across the country.
The program reaches thousands of schools nationwide including Bonita Street Elementary in Carson.
"This year we were 61st out of 6,000 schools so we really have a sense of pride going one here," Ann Brecker, a kindergarten teacher at Bonita Street Elementary said.
Brecker helped bring the program to Bonita Street Elementary after her daughters mentioned they were doing it at a Redondo Beach school.
Leading the way at Bonita Street Elementary was Anthony Orozco, who reached 100 miles last year at the age of 5.
"I run really fast," Orozco said.
Each time a student runs a lap at Bonita Street Elementary, parents or teachers offer a popscicle stick, and tallies are taken at the end of the half hour.
Along with P.E., the students run three days weekly before school.
"Since the 100 mile program has started, kids are getting here on time, less absenteeism, less discipline problems on the yard because they're out there running," said Brecker.
For every 25-mile mark the students hit, they receive a small gift such as a T-shirt or certificate.
When they reach 100 miles, they receive a gold medal and everybody celebrates.
"We celebrate with certificates, the class congratulates them in front of the whole school," Brecker explained.
Teachers and parents said running together tends to create unity between the students.
"When they're doing something the same, they understand each other a little better," Heather Hays, a mother of four children said.
"You see the 5th graders reach out and help the students who are in kindergarten. You also have staff members that come out here and run," Rene Chavez, principal of Bonita Street Elementary said.
To help schools keep count, New Balance created the "Billion Mile Race" website. So far 36 million miles have been accounted for from about 6,000 schools.