Upon looking for a way to promote mental and physical wellness in their students for Mental Health Awareness Month, Heart of the Lakes Elementary School scheduled a Color Run. This event took place on Monday, May 3, and Tuesday, May 4. The different days were scheduled for the different school cohorts due to safety reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students and their families were given the chance to go for a one-mile run. Volunteers covered the runners' white shirts in colorful chalk dye.

Runners wait to have their shirts covered in blue dye. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)
Runners wait to have their shirts covered in blue dye. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)

According to Heart of the Lakes P.E. teacher Kelli Stoll, students and parents had a wonderful time. "(The students) are all talking about it at school today," she said.

Monday's run had about 230 participants, and Tuesday's had even more signed up. According to Stoll and Principal Liz Johnson, they plan to make the Color Run an annual event, especially after its success.

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"The biggest reason we (scheduled the Color Run) is because it's a great way to bring awareness to mental health and also to include physical activity in that," Stoll said. "Physical activity goes hand-in-hand with mental health."