Short Hills, NJ -- Students of Glenwood Elementary raised close to $6,500 for the homeless in the school’s annual Walk-a-Thon held in October this year.

The Glenwood Walk-a-thon is a special tradition at the K-4 school, aimed at teaching children the importance of helping others and making a difference to the community, while building school spirit. Over the years, the event has raised $178,000 for various non-profit organizations. 

For the past three years, the school has partnered with Bridges, a non-profit organization based in Summit, NJ that connects the housed and the homeless. Through the support of 2,600 volunteers, Bridges delivers food, clothing and other necessities to over 20,000 people in New York City, Newark and Irvington each year. Glenwood is proud to support Bridges, says school principal Dr. David Jasin. “Glenwood’s annual Walk-a-thon for Bridges is a great example of a meaningful character education initiative. I really enjoy hearing from our students about how good it makes them feel to help those who are less fortunate.”

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At this year's Walk-a-thon, students wasted no time making energetic laps around the school’s large field. The kids, motivated to raise money for a good cause, hit the ground running on a windy day in mid-October, stopping only briefly to take sips of water. Everyone from staff to students to parents dressed in Glenwood green-and-white spirit wear, and many students went all-out, painting their faces spraying their hair green. 

Apart from helping to raise money through the Walk-a-thon, the students will also be involved in a more hands-on project later in the year, packing brown bag lunches for the homeless.

“I really appreciate that my students are not just raising money with an hour of walking, but they are also putting the lunches together and loading the truck,” says Jasin.

Parents say they are happy to see their children volunteering in community-building initiatives in their formative years. “The Walkathon is an opportunity for our kids to practice empathy, putting themselves in the shoes of other less fortunate children,” says Stacey Rudin, co-president of Glenwood’s PTO. “They also learn that even kids have the power to make a positive impact in their communities.”