South Side Elementary unveils new walking path

Students break in the walking path with an inaugural run. ETHAN STOETZER/HAMPTON CHRONICLE

South Side Elementary School held a ribbon cutting for its newest addition to the playground. Over the summer, in a public-private partnership with Hampton-Dumont School District and Heartland Asphalt, Mason City, South Side was able to create an asphalt track for students who participate in the before-school walking club, to walk around.

“Last year, when I came here, I saw tons and tons of kids walking, and your shoes were wet and they were all muddy and they had grass stains,” said Principal Ellen Pickhinke. “We have 170 kids walk this path every day. So your teachers thought we should get you a new path.”

For the last five years, South Side Elementary has had a before-school walking club. Last year, the school implemented a program where student were rewarded with a charm bracelet, receiving a new charm after they complete several miles. In last year alone, 170 students walked 5,000 total miles, all before school. Two students, Connor Miller and Hunter Rieken, each walked 145 miles. Four other students walked for over 100 miles.

Read the full article in the September 6 edition of the Hampton Chronicle.