Lockwood Elementary fourth-graders Anthony Munoz, 9. left, Marivel Garza, 9, center, and Claudia Rodriguez, 9, right, all sprint as they finish a lap Tuesday during Lockwood Elementary’s “Walk for Diabetes”. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.
By Gary Mitchell
Summer Price of Texico said she’s grateful for a walking program at Lockwood Elementary School where her best friend, Kye Skelton, attends.
As part of the school’s daily walking club, the students are conducting a “Walk for Diabetes” fund-raising event this week.
“Kye told me about it last week,” said Summer, who is 11. “I like the program because it’s going to help me get rid of diabetes. I’ve had it ever since I was 2.”
“I like the program,” said Kye, 9. “You get to raise money for people with diabetes, and you give it to scientists and they figure out a way to find a cure. Summer’s my friend, and I’m walking for her.”
School officials say the students have responded positively to the fund-raising event as well as the walking club initiated by P.E. instructor Cathy Hess.
“It’s been a fantastic event for developing student awareness of diabetes — and also promoting walking as a healthy lifestyle choice,” said Jarilyn Butler, principal at Lockwood. “The Walk for Diabetes is a week-long event, but we’ve had the walking club since the beginning of the school year. All proceeds from the Walk for Diabetes will go to the American Diabetes Association.”
Hess said the walking program encompasses the entire student body, but she has created some incentives to encourage the exercise.
“To generate excitement, we’re having this Walk for Diabetes fund-raiser this week,” she said. “Every time kids come to P.E. this week, they walk. However, we left the fund-raising optional. Each lap around the school grounds is one-third of a mile, so three laps is a mile. When they do 15 laps, which is five miles, they get a toe tag — or some other incentive.”
Kindergarten through second-grade students only walk during the P.E. period, and their goal is nine laps, or three miles, Hess said.
“Third- through sixth-grade