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Local Teacher Encourages Students To Run For Their Lives

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MIAMI (CBS4) – Many of us remember a passionate teacher that inspired us to go the distance. This week, Neighbors 4 Neighbors teamed up with a local shoe store to surprise a teacher who’s pounding the pavement to help her students reach their running goals.

“I couldn’t think of any other way I’d like to spend my time other than with these students” said Ms. Kim Motta, a 4th grade teacher at Beckford/Richmond Elementary School in West Perrine.

Motta loves her students, and she loves keeping them on their toes – literally.

“I ran my first full marathon last year. The kids followed me kind of with my training” Motta explained.

She created a running team at the title one school to get the kids involved in a fun, fitness activity. She is leading the district in the National “Let’s Move” initiative sponsored by First Lady, Michelle Obama.

“These kids don’t have opportunities like this, and I hope that in some way it’ll instill in them a sense of confidence” said Motta.

Later this month, the students will join her in the last mile of the ING Miami Marathon – but she noticed during training, some students had trouble on the track.

“I have kids out here running, some of them running in work boots, and some their shoes hurt so much that they take their shoes off when they run” Motta said fighting back tears, adding, “I had requested through N4N if they could help out in any way”.

Neighbors reached out to local running shoe store, Footworks Miami, long time community partners and organizers for the Komen Race for the Cure and upcoming Corporate Run. The store donated 30 pairs of shoes to each of the students.

“It feels great, it’s phenomenal to be able to help. They’ll be comfortable, and these kids will be able to run and you know, have a good time” said store owner, JP Huseby, whose family has owned the business for more than 30 years.

The students were excited for their shoe surprise, but also happy to support the teacher that’s always supported them.

“We put all our effort to pass that finish line and not let Ms. Motta down” said 5th grader, Denzel Cooper.

To help Neighbors 4 Neighbors make other connections in our community, call 305-597-4404 or visit www.neighbors4neighbors.org .

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