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Is Not About Me"
known as "The Mother Road", Route 66 passes through
eight states. The route begins in Chicago,
Illinois and winds its way to Santa Monica, California
(near Los Angeles). In all, it reaches across 2,278 miles
and crosses 3 time zones. The mileage for Route 66 in each
state is as follows: California (318
miles); Arizona (388 miles); New Mexico (392 miles); Texas
(189 miles); Oklahoma (376 miles); Kansas (13 miles);
Missouri (313 miles); and, Illinois (289 miles).
Route 66 quickly became the most famous road in America. The
road extended through many American cities and towns, and it
crossed deserts, mountains, valleys and rivers.
Unfortunately, Route 66 was removed from the U.S. Highway
System in 1985
but the road's history lives on!
So, why run, walk and learn about this old meandering road
and its roadside attractions? Why become familiar with facts
and trivia about this Illinois to California route? Why take
time to learn about this highway that was the setting for
Disney's 2006 animated movie, Cars? Because
it represents a time when our country desired to come
together... to create a surface that could be traveled so
that progress could be made in America in business, industry
and other important ways.
The Route 66 Challenge web site chronicles the journey of
modern "virtual" travelers as they used Route 66 to improve
health and fitness while learning about this significant
part of America's history. There were 43 fourth grade
students and 42 fifth graders trekking along Route 66 during
the 2007-2008 school year. Each grade was a separate "team".
They ran and walked the route while in a friendly
competition to see which grade could complete it first...
and both classes finished the challenge before the end of
the school year! The
Main Street of America still exists and kids can
virtually trek on it and learn some worthwhile facts about
America's history along the way.
This project from
the 2007-2008 school year remains online as a model for
schools to use in developing their own virtual treks. Visit
the Route 66 Challenge at
The purpose of each virtual trek is for students to run and
walk toward greater fitness while at the same time learning
about the locations that they virtually travel through. It's
through this combination of fitness and learning that
students experience places beyond their school boundaries in
a unique and challenging way. The virtual trek web sites
developed by Paul Staso regularly acquire visitor traffic
from around the world. The
site from 2007-208 gets many visitors each school year, and
Paul frequently receives e-mail messages from teachers
asking how they can implement a similar program in their