ASHFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The hills around Ashfield are very beautiful and a group of teachers at the Sanderson Academy really wanted to inspire kids to explore the great outdoors, explore some of the trails in town.

They have undertaken a really cool initiative.

The kids at Sanderson Academy are more active than ever, thanks to a unique program by teachers.

"It all started last year with the 100 miles club. That's before school - 8 to 8:30 - kids come and run around the school two days a week. They accumulate miles throughout the year," said Krissy Schreiber with Sanderson Academy.

Katy Morey with Sanderson Academy added, "We have a large map in our lobby that tracks our progress."

The teachers have found that if kids have an opportunity to move, their brains are ready for learning.

"They only receive an hour of PE a week. This kind of enhances and created more time for them to move because on PE days, they do work better. They get more energy out," said Liz Tyler with Sanderon Academy.

Schreiber noted, "It's part of our school improvement plan: health and wellness, mindfulness."

"Last month, we had our mountain day, which was an all school hike. Our goal is to have something each month," Morey explained.

Western Mass News caught up with the teachers after their Sugar Run 5k, held the day after Halloween and meant to burn all those extra trick-or-treat sugar away.

"Since we started the 100 mile club last year, I've had some students tell me 'I've found my thing.' Absolutely...they hadn't found the thing that really makes them happy or are really good at, but now, they say, 'Hey, I found my thing and this is it,'" said Katy Morey with Sanderson Academy.

We wanted to help with their initiative, so on behalf of Western Mass News and Diamond RV, Jacob presented a check for $500 to help keep kids active.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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