LRSD principal running 173 miles for 5th-grade students at Roberts Elementary School

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — With school closed some students had to miss out on graduation, games, and even prom, but what about 5th-grade students headed to 6th grade who can’t have a field day or go on a trip?

One principal in the Little Rock School District is honoring those students and setting new goals.

Every step he takes his a new goal for this man and his dog piper.

“What I’ve decided to do is run a mile in honor of each graduating 5th-grade student in our school,” said Steven Helmick the principal of Roberts Elementary School.

“We’ve got 1,035 students, within our building we’ve got 173 5th graders,” said Helmick.

And with schools closed because of COVID he’s running for each 5th grade students.

You do the math.

“That’s 173 miles in one month and so that’s about 5 to 6 miles a day,” said Helmick.

Seems like a lot.

“I feel like an old man, but that’s okay. A lot of stretching, a lot of water but we’re getting it done,” said Helmick.

Helmick even post photos on social media of his run everyday.

“It’s accountability for me to make sure it happens,” said Helmick.

And the students names are also on the photo.

“They know on that day that mile was run for that kid and it’s just another way to honor and celebrate the fact that we are proud of them,” said Helmick.

It’s day five for Helmick and he’s already at 28 miles, he calls a new connection.

“If we can’t social connect by giving a kid that fist bump or hug or that high five what we can do is connect via social media,” said Helmick.

It’s one step.

“There’s no question i’m definitely finishing,” said Helmick.

With his dog piper.

“Honestly right now she’s keeping me motivated because she’s in better shape than I am,” said Helmick.

2,000 steps with the hashtag.

“One kid, one mile, one goal,” said Helmick. “Each mile I go some are easier than others.”

Helmick got the idea from a friend in California who ran 100 miles this past month. The new trend has also caught the attention of other principals and teachers in the district.

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