March 16, 2005- Brooklyn N.Y. – Sixty- four year old Kingsborough Community College “My Turn” student, Michael Jaron, ran the Semi-Marathon de Paris as part of his independent study in the “Walk, Jog and Run” class in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at KCC.
Wearing a Kingsborough shirt, Mr. Jaron ran the 13.1 miles through the streets of Paris after completing his course-work as part of the “My Turn” program developed at Kingsborough.
Jaron, a consulting Geologist by profession, enrolled in the Kingsborough “My Turn” Program encouraged by his wife, Anne, a full–time Engineering Science student who also attends Kingsborough. He has since taken classes in Chinese History, Hebrew, Chemistry and Body Building as well as in Running.
He says, “I love the college and the program and am especially impressed by the dedication and expertise of the faculty at Kingsborough.”
Kingsborough Community College has long been recognized for its celebrated “My Turn” Program where more than 2,000 senior citizens annually take college courses in classes alongside students who may, at times, be the age of their grandchildren.
The nationally replicated “My Turn” Program at Kingsborough has graduated people in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and even one or two that were 100 years and older in it’s over twenty-five years of existence. Many parents and grandparents of students have attended Kingsborough at the same time earning Kingsborough a reputation as one of the most unique community colleges in the nation. One of the wonderful things about the program is that it is tuition free for all senior citizens on a space-available basis although they do need to pay registration fees and parking fees.
Jaron was inspired to run by Professor Sam Scherek, Chairperson of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation who Jaron says was “very encouraging and supportive.”
“It was a struggle when I first enrolled to go even a few miles,” said Jaron. “But by Thanksgiving, I could run 5 miles with relative ease. However, there is a big difference between running a 5-mile Turkey Trot in Prospect Park and doing the 13 miles distance in gay Paree.”
More than 20,000 runners competed in the Semi- Marathon. Each of the runners went past a grandstand a French DJ and a French singer (a chanteuse) stand looked down upon the crowd. As runners from the different parts of France or from different cities or countries passed the grandstand they shouted out their homeland, and the chanteuse announced it over the PA system.
“Alsace, Senegal, Morocco, they shout out and it is announced to the roaring crowds. When I passed by I shouted to her “BROOKLYN.” She repeated “Brookleen”? Ou est Brookleen? Everyone in the crowd laughed.”
Jaron was particularly heartened by the encouragement of the people of Paris who yelled at him as he runs by” allez, allez, courage, courage.”
Jaron finished the semi-marathon of 21.1 kilometers or 13.1 miles with about 16,500 runners ahead of him and 3,500 runners behind. The important thing he says “is that he finished.” He plans to run a full marathon and a field trip to Northwestern China sometime later this year along with using his newly acquired Chinese language skills and will also continue with his studies at Kingsborough.
For more information on the Kingsborough Community College “My Turn” Program or programs in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, please contact (718) 368-5079 or 718-368-5696 or go to the college’s website at www.kbcc.cuny.edu.