• 27°

Taking a walk for their school

Second-grade teacher Jenna Hegwood leads her class down Margaretha Avenue Friday morning.—Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Second-grade teacher Jenna Hegwood leads her class down Margaretha Avenue Friday morning.—Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Halverson Elementary School students raised money in the last few weeks and held a walkathon Friday for their school.

Kindergarteners walked a mile, and first- through fifth-graders walked about four miles. The students started from the school and walked to Frank Hall Park. They then walked around the loop at the Blazing Star Trail then walked back to the school. The students arrived back at school by around 1 p.m, said Principal Johanna Thomas. There were stops along the way.

Irene Lopez, daughter, Jareli, 2, and son, Diego, 8, a third-grader at Halverson, participate in the walkathon Friday. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Irene Lopez, daughter, Jareli, 2, and son, Diego, 8, a third-grader at Halverson, participate in the walkathon Friday. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Students asked sponsors to donate money for the school’s parent-teacher organization, Spirit, in connection with the walk.

The PTO helps provide field trips, additional support for teachers and needed classroom supplies. The organization also holds bingo nights, fun night and other activities.

“I liked raising $100 for the school,” said Luke Semple, a second-grader at Halverson, who went door-to-door in Hayward asking for sponsors.

Some family members of the students also took part in the walk.

Gina Hernes and her granddaughter, second-grader Nautica Bernal, take part in the Halverson walkathon on Friday. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Gina Hernes and her granddaughter, second-grader Nautica Bernal, take part in the Halverson walkathon on Friday. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Each student who was at school Friday participated, Thomas said.

She said the school looked to avoid fundraisers that included selling food or gift items.

“This is better for students, and it goes with the community’s Blue Zone-active style,” Thomas said.

The walkathons began five years ago.

“It’s been a success and the kids love it,” the principal said. “This definitely builds community within our school. Our students work hard in finding sponsors. The kids have a blast throughout the day.”

The school plans on holding the fundraiser in future years, and Thomas said it has become an annual tradition in Albert Lea.

“The community and neighborhood have been a great support to us in donating money for the kids so we can go on field trips and support the teachers in some of their needs,” she said.

This was the first walkathon of the 2015-16 school year in Albert Lea, Thomas said. The other three elementary schools in Albert Lea are planning on holding a similar fundraiser.

 

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

email author More by Sam