May 12, 2022 - Students and staff at Neuwoehner High School spent the entire school day on May 10 raising awareness of heart disease and stroke during its annual Heart Walk. The event involves students walking as many laps as they can within a 50 minute timeframe. Students created heart decorations that hung up around the track and proceeds from donations and purchased t-shirts went directly to the American Heart Association. The school raised a total of $258 and walked a total of 680 laps, which equates to over 120 miles.
“We usually walk at least a mile with all the students and keep track of their laps,” said PE Teacher and event organizer Kimberly Pietrzak. “It’s really cool to get all the staff and students out here and walk. It kind of mixes up their day. It’s something different and for a good cause.”
Students Terri Hicks and James Denman walked the most laps, 2.47 miles to be exact. They both won a free t-shirt. Student Hailey Graham says for her, it wasn’t a competition. She participated to shed light on all the survivors and because she enjoys the beauty of the outdoors.
“This way, we learn about all the people who had heart disease,” said Graham. “We can help them overcome their trauma. I also like the sounds of nature and being outside.”
Along with raising awareness of heart disease, the event is an opportunity to focus on the importance of physical activity. Pietrazk feels that nowadays, more students play inside instead of outside.
“Exercise in general is very important for kids,” said Pietrzak. “At first they might not enjoy it, but in the end, they are very proud of themselves for moving and getting some physical activity in.”
If you would like to make a donation, email Kimberly Pietrazak email@example.com.