Flushing school hopes to add UNICEF service element to annual walkathon

Photo courtesy of St. Kevin Catholic Academy

A Flushing Catholic school is gearing up for its annual walkathon this October.

According to Eliana Space, a member of the academy parent association at St. Kevin Catholic Academy, parents raise money for the yearly event to help out the school. But now, they plan to broaden their focus to include the global community.

Parents ask local businesses, family and friends to donate money that goes toward keeping tuition costs low and this year, purchasing outdoor equipment for the students. But Space shared that the walkathon chairs Tara Camisa, Stephanie Lelia and Jocelyn Shafiroff proposed a service idea that would also help the less fortunate.

The chairs suggested that the school purchase UNICEF Kid Power bands for the students to use during the walkathon. The bands track each child’s movement, which is converted into points and add up to lifesaving packets of food for severely malnourished children.

Activites known as Kid Power Ups are short videos that kids do while wearing the bracelet. Ten Kid Power Up activities add up to one packet of food for a child in need, according to UNICEF.

Space said that SKCA is currently trying to find a sponsor to purchase the $28.99 bands for their nearly 300 students. The bands would cost about $5,500, but procuring a sponsor has been difficult.

“Unfortunately, it’s been kind of hard since many companies [and] organizations don’t tend to donate to Catholic schools,” Space said.

SKCA’s new principal, Allison Murphy, endorsed the effort and said it was important for the school to promote Catholic tenets like the Corporal Works of Mercy.

“It’s important to live them,” Murphy said. “The students don’t [usually] have firsthand experience with poverty. The bands will be a physical reminder of the things they have and the things that others do not have.”

The principal’s philosophy is that it’s the school’s responsibility to help its students become contributing members of society.

In addition to incorporating the UNICEF bands, Space said that kids can participate in a morning Zumba class prior to completing the walkathon around the school. Students will also receive prizes and partake in other fun activities during the course of the day.

To learn how to donate to help the school get UNICEF Kid Power bands, email the APA at [email protected]

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