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Students take part in healthy walk challenge

Mar. 15, 2013 @ 11:36 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Living a healthy lifestyle was the theme at two Cabell County schools Friday.

Highlawn Elementary students and staff walked from the school to St. Mary's Medical Center and back to celebrate a school-wide achievement of each student making the "Highlawn 100 Mile Club."

At Huntington High School, teams of students and staff competed in the biannual fitness challenge. The high school also hosted a health fair with representatives from the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, Healthy Families, WIC, Valley Health Systems and St. Mary's Medical Center, which offered students who received prior parental consent a variety of health screenings. Both events were intended to help break the mold of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles that dominate West Virginia.

Highlawn's event highlighted a school year that has seen all 344 students walk 100 miles, said Principal Robin Harmon. Since the school year started, Highlawn has set aside 20 minutes each morning for students to walk laps inside the school. Three laps equals one mile, she said. All have reached the centennial mark, while Harmon noted that Caleb Metzgar has logged more than 250 miles.

The Highlawn Husky Walk is a product of a $4,000 grant the school received from the National Dairy Council and Fuel Up To Play 60. That has helped pay for healthy snacks and Husky t-shirts for each student and staff.

"They are very encouraged about staying healthy," Harmon said.

Title 1 math teacher Angie Riner said the school staff have stressed the importance of exercise and healthy habits. She said the students have really taken to the walking, and it seems to aid their alertness and performance during the school day.

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