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Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

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Angels In Our Midst (Jim Singleton)

Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 11:01 AM CDT
Jim; "I remember that first day I told them, we're going to start running two laps a day. They said, well, we've never done that before. I said, well, we're going to do it now."

Jim; "Come on, Kirk, you're not going to let Nina pass you, are you?"

Jim Singleton has a little bit of drill sergeant left over from his military days but the children see it's all a facade. It's just the coach as motivator.

Renae Schmidt, 5th Grader; "He always pushes us to our goals so we can be healthy, be strong."

Trey Smith, 5th Grader; "If you do something wrong, he'll help you."

Coach; "You didn't finish your lap did you? Go finish your lap, Adam."

Jim Singleton, Gulf Breeze Elementary P.E. Coach; "I've got kids that are not the fastest, they're not the best, but they get an 'E' in P.E. every time. My word here is 'try.' 'Can't' died in the cornfield. We don't use 'can't' at this school. We say, 'try.'"

With the statistic that one of every five children in the US is obese, Jim is serious about the health of his students. He wants his lessons to stick for a lifetime.

Jim; "How big is your heart? Kindergartners will go like that. You know, what does your heart work like: A pump. What is your heart: It's a muscle. What's the only way to make a muscle strong? Exercise."

The coach has some game rules for success. One; you have to be an example for children to take you seriously. He leads the runners club after school for an hour each week.

Sarah Landrum, 5th Grader; "He taught us how to breathe right when we're running and to keep a steady pace."

Jim; "That's strictly voluntary. We started out with 45 kids the first year we did it. We now average 160 kids staying on Thursday to run."

Rule two:

Trey; "He's very funny."

Renae; "He always brings a little bit of fun to the P.E. field."

Trey; "He's nice enough to shave his head if 120 kids pass the fitness test."

Renae; "It's more of, you come out here and you don't know what to expect from him."

He's full of energy and he's just an awesome P.E. coach.

That's been his winning game plan for 30 years. Coach is about to retire but he'll keep the sneakers close so he can sub.

Coach; "I don't think there's a better job in the world than teaching kids this size. This is what I was meant to do. I really, truly believe that."Angels In Our Midst (Jim Singleton)

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Washington Times