Saturday, September 16, 2000

Roger Bacon students walk, raise money

Result: School gets $46,000

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        ST. BERNARD — About 800 Roger Bacon High School students on Friday left the books at home, ditched their school uniforms, abandoned the classrooms and hit the streets.

        And their teachers weren't upset in the least.

[photo] About 800 Roger Bacon students took to the streets of St. Bernard and Avondale on Friday for the 15th annual Spartan Walk, a school fund-raiser.
(Tony Jones photo)
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        It was all part of the school's 15th annual Spartan Walk, an all-school fund-raiser. The 6.2-mile walk raised about $46,000, which will be used for scholarships and computers, school officials said. The walk kicked off about 10 a.m. and took most students about two hours to finish.

        The day started with a schoolwide “Spirit Olympics” in which students and faculty competed against each other in contests.

        For the students, it meant a day out of class, plenty of exercise and a chance to leave school for the day after finishing the walk.

        “I enjoy being with fellow classmates and meeting new people,” said freshman Marc Young, 14, of Finneytown. “It feels good out here, too.”

        From St. Bernard through parts of Avondale and back to the school, students made their way through quiet residential areas and down busy streets. Some students strolled in pairs while others wandered along in large groups. Along the way, checkpoints recorded their progress.

        “I like getting to know this part of town better,” said freshman Erica Conway, 15, of Greenhills. “Neighbors come out and say "hi.' They're very friendly here.”

        On the top of a hill at Reading Road and Clinton Springs Avenue, a couple of Roger Bacon teachers met the students with lollipops and encouragement.

        The walk is a chance for students and teachers to have fun outside the class room, the teachers said.

        “It sort of breaks the pace,” said English teacher Don McGrath, who has been at Roger Bacon for 37 years. “We have almost 100 percent participation from the kids. The faculty gets out of the classroom and you have a different relationship with the kids.”

        The students can do the walk at their own pace, and many stop for lunch somewhere along the way. By noon, several fast-food restaurants were full of students.

        The school also held its first “Shantytown” Friday to raise awareness of homelessness. About 60 students were expected to spend Friday night outside, sleeping in cardboard boxes.

        Students were given a cardboard box and a plastic bag, and instructed to use them to build their shelter for the night. They were not allowed to bring anything with them to the “town” and were not to leave once it was constructed, school officials said.


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