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Allapattah Middle School walks for breast cancer cure

Over 250 students donate money to wear pink for a day

Ashley Montgomery | 10/31/2013, 9 a.m.
Students at Allapattah Middle School gather to raise funds for breast cancer.

Over 250 students from Allapattah Middle School [AMS] recently decided to come together to make a stand for those battling breast cancer. They said that because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they wanted to show their support in finding a cure. So they hosted an event called “Pink Friday.”

The event informed students about breast cancer and it also engaged them in meaningful ways according to a statement released by the school’s principal, Bridgette McKinney.

In the week leading up to Pink Friday, students and teachers bought wrist bands to raise money for breast cancer awareness. The money that was donated granted students the opportunity to opt out of wearing school uniforms for a day and instead wear pink. An array of pink shirts, socks, ribbons and accessories flooded the hallways.

“Students were excited to dress out of uniform, of course, but they were more excited to show off their “Pink

Friday” gear because so many of our students have been personally affected by this disease, said Catherine Fuson, a sixth grade language arts teacher at AMS. “It was a great opportunity for them to actively reflect on the issue.”

In addition to the students, administrators and teachers also participated in the event.

Students kicked off the event by assembling themselves in the formation of the pink ribbon — the most recognizable symbol of breast cancer awareness. While in formation, three different colors of biodegradable balloons were distributed and then released as a symbol of those whose lives have been impacted by the disease.

White balloons represented those who have died of breast cancer; light pink signaled those still battling breast cancer; and dark pink was for those who have overcome breast cancer.

Upon releasing the balloons, students then rushed to different stations to participate in fun educational activities that taught them about breast cancer.

Students had to answer questions at each station that specifically included their root word of the week: “spec.”

McKinney is an advocate for hands-on learning and says she is constantly striving to find different, creative ways for students to learn.

“Our teachers provide opportunities for improving literacy not just through the mainstream way of reading and writing but with multiple pathways for all types of learners,” she said. “Students wanted to pay homage on this day and I thought Pink Friday was a notable way for kids to own their learning and reflect on their own perspectives in a spectacular way.”

All proceeds raised were given to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.