Site Spotlight: Victoria Donofrio – Mighty Milers

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Learn more about our NYRR Youth Programs! We are sharing profiles on teachers from across the country who work first-hand with the NYRR Youth Programs that Team for Kids’ fundraising efforts support. These select individuals are not just dedicated coaches and coordinators, but also runners who will be joining our 2015 TCS New York City Marathon class and 50,000 other runners this November. Read their stories on our blog under the Site Spotlight category for insight on the NYRR Youth Programs and to hear inspirational quotes from students and parents.

In which program is your site enrolled?
Mighty Milers

What is the name of your site? Where are you located?
PS 811Q @ PS 147Q – Cambria Heights, Queens, NY

What was your motivation to start an NYRR Youth program at your site and how has it been implemented?
We are currently in a small contained mini building with no access in a gym. Our 5 year old students have special needs and physical activity is a vital part of the day. The Mighty Milers has given our students the opportunity to utilize our limited space. It has taught them teamwork through exercise, school spirit, taking turns, being a leader and having fun with movement. The Adaptive Physical Education teacher created a song for our program.

Can you share how your students have responded to the program and some of their favorite components?
The students enjoy working together. They all share a common goal and the certificates really motivate them. Their favorite component is singing our “Mighty Miler” song when they exercise.

Can you share an inspiring quote from a student or parent?
This is the song that our Adaptive Physical Ed teacher created:

 “We are Mighty Milers!
We are Mighty Milers!
Everywhere we go,
People want to know
Who we are,
Where we come from,
So we tell them!”

What do you believe are the biggest benefits of your program and the importance of the work you are carrying out?
The value of being healthy and creating healthy habits, doing this provides structure and consistency for our students with special needs.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began in my twenties. I started running with friends as a social activity and a way to lose weight.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I like to run outside and explore.

Why did you choose to run the TCS New York City Marathon and what number marathon is this for you?
This is my 16th marathon and I choose to run NYC for three reasons. 1- I was born and live in Queens. I work as a teacher in Queens and my two sons go to Public School in Queens. 2- NYC Marathon is my favorite Marathon to run. 3-I have been teaching for 24 years and love my students with special needs.

Tell us a little more about yourself
My name is Victoria Donofrio and I have been a Special Education Teacher for 24 years. I also grew up and presently live in Queens. I have two boys who attend a public school in Queens. I love running!!! It has been a passion for me for 25 years. I have been a member of NYRR and I have completed 15 Marathons. I believe running is so important for physical and emotional well-being. It builds confidence and creates a positive environment to learn. Since running has provided me with happy and lifelong memories, I want to pay that forward. A group of teachers decided to start Mighty Milers in our school. I am so proud of my staff and students. They are all participating in this program.

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