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Miss Kandy to the Rescue – 28 days to go!

September 1, 2012

Photo by Lil’ Sprout Memories by Alyssa Francis

I have known my whole life (okay since 2nd grade) that I wanted to be a teacher.  I love learning, but more importantly I adore kids!  I have earned many different names over the year from Adjunct Professor to Ms. Stevens (my Lakeview name), but the name I cherish the most is the one given to me by my Sunday School kids – Miss Kandy.

I will never forget the time when my family was vacationing in the Twin Cities and we were taking in the “fun” (and I use that term loosely) at the Mall of America.  We were camped out at the Legoland play area, when I heard a faint shout out. “Miss Kandy!”  I thought I was hearing things.  But the sound began to crescendo like a blue shift of wavelengths suggesting the sound-maker was running toward me.  “MISSSSS KANNNNNDDDDDDYYYYY” I turned just in time to see a sweet little “L” from my Sunday School class running across (with her parents in hot pursuit) across the indoor amusement park.  How in the world she saw me through all those people is beyond me.

So it came as no surprise to me how I ended up in the place where the kids run earned its beginnings.  Reed’s Run aficionados will remember that we did not have a kids run in the first year.  The origin of the run came from the summer before the second run.  While helping chaperone the Lakeview junior high football team attending Chad Greenway’s “Day to Reach” camp in Hutchinson, I took a passel of younger siblings to Burger King to the play land.   After playing for a while, we all sat down to enjoy our snacks.  It was during that conversation that the idea was hatched.

One of the sweet girls started the ball rolling by saying, “I love Reed’s Run, but I just wish I was big enough to run in it.”  I explained that anyone, any age, can run.  “S” and her friend, “E” explained that wasn’t the problem; the problem was that 5k was too far for some little legs.  Oh really?  Well what if I put together a shorter run just for kids?  Their faces beamed over the top of their treats.

Since it was to be a kids run, it needed to be designed and organized by kids.  Within a week, we had two sweet 7th graders from Marshall on board, and the rest is, as they say, history.  True to Miss Kandy form, every child who runs in the race is rewarded for doing their best.  (Yes, there are medals awarded for top runners, but the emphasis is on fun.)

So in the end, a couple elementary kids planted the seed, a couple middle school kids got it organized, and a whole lot of kids have enjoyed their ideas and work. Thank you to “S” and “E” for sharing your really great idea over ICEES with me.  God definitely knew what He was doing when He gave me a heart for kids.  Reed’s Run was improved for the better, but the best part is that I am truly blessed because of it.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14 (NIV)

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