Students take aim at diabetes

FAIRMONT – It’s become a fixture for students involved in the Lights On For Kids program.

Each January, the SchoolWalk for Diabetes not only gets students moving, but teaches them about good nutrition, exercise and diabetes.

“The students have been walking all month,” said Roni Dauer, coordinator for Fairmont’s Community Education and Recreation, which hosts the Lights On For Kids after-school program. “Today, we have water and granola bars that were donated for the walk. We also have parents and people who wanted to walk today.”

Along with walking, the Lights On For Kids group learned a lot.

“We had two presenters,” Dauer said. “Judy Moritz spoke to the group, and she had diet-controlled diabetes, and our other speaker was Lindsey Dalluge, the nutritionist from Hy-Vee.”

The SchoolWalk for Diabetes became an annual event for Lights On For Kids when one of the Lights On For Kids’ teachers had a son with diabetes.

“It’s a way to draw attention to diabetes education,” Dauer said. “It’s something that we’ve kept going.”

While some walkers raised funds for the event, it wasn’t mandatory.

“One student remembers how many laps he had last year, and his goal is to beat that walking and running,” Dauer said.

Several students pledged one mile, or nine laps around the outside of Fairmont Elementary School’s main gym. One student had already jogged three miles around on Thursday, with no signs of slowing down.

“It’s a great way to promote healthy lifestyles,” Dauer said. “It’s fun to see the kids get excited about it.”