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WEST WARWICK â€” Once a year, people take April Foolâ€™s day as an excuse to whip out their best tricks and schemes to outwit the little guy. And for those who have taken it just a little too far, John F. Horgan Elementary has put a foot down.
To celebrate the new, more positive version, â€śApril Friendâ€™s Day,â€ť Horgan is gathering students, friends and family for the first annual 5K race today. According to Principal Donna Peluso, the reason for the race is two-fold: to encourage anti-bullying behavior in their children as well as encouraging healthy, active lives.
And today, they hope to raise money for it too.
The rain date for the race is scheduled for tomorrow, April 1. It will begin at Riverpoint Park, with registration at 10 a.m. and runners and walkers taking off at 11 a.m. They will make their way down the Washington Secondary Trail, towards Arctic, and when they meet at Providence Street, turn around and head back to Riverpoint Park.
The race will be a total of 3.2 miles.
Registration is $20 per person and family admission will be a donation of a jar of peanut butter. Proceeds will be donated to Youth Pride RI, an organization geared towards teens and young adults who are impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity, according to their website. Peluso explained that traditionally on April Foolâ€™s, children in this community are often bullied.
â€śOne of our major goals is that the children be provided with a respectful atmosphere and that they are valued. We always tell them that it starts with them. If they want to be respected and valued, they must also do that,â€ť she said.
Throughout the school-year, Horgan offers assemblies and other initiatives to educate students about bullying and, if they are bullied, that they can speak with an adult about it. The Bullying Box is an open forum for the children to write out their experiences so that the administration can address it immediately. Providenceâ€™s own dancing cop, Tony Lepore, came to the school to talk about bullying.
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