Huband Elementary added a little colour to its school year on Friday.
The school north of Courtenay was looking for an outdoor activity, with kids taking part in their cohorts, where they could come together for some fun during a year that has required social distancing and other safety measures. The idea was to hold a “Colour Run.”
Learning support teacher Leslie Culley Nielsen knew these runs were happening elsewhere and pitched it to the Huband community.
“I got the idea from a school in Calgary,” she said.
She thought it would be a perfect way to bring the school community together, or as close as possible under this year’s health restrictions. The hope now is to hold a run like this every school year.
The plan was to have groups of students run in their cohorts from station to station, including a wooded stretch, where they were blasted with handfuls of colour — purple, yellow, blue — all made from a mixture of corn starch and FDA-approved food colouring.
“The idea is to get yourself coloured with as many colours on a rainbow as you can,” principal Gracie MacDonald said.
The students really seemed to take to the idea.
“My favourite part was going in the forest and doing the trail,” said Grade 2 student Everly Birnie.
She said her favourite colour was purple, while student Gavin Collins, also in Grade 2, preferred the blast of blue. The feeling of running through a cloud of colour did come as a bit of a surprise.
“We got used to it,” Collins said.
There were 17 divisions, or nine cohorts, taking part in the run, or about 350 kids in all. Staff ran the stations, as the school has not been able to rely on the usual supply of parent volunteers because of the health guidelines.
“They were excited to do this,” Culley Nielsen added.
MacDonald said Huband had done an in-school track meet in lieu of broader competitions this year, but Friday’s run was a way to do some community-building during a year that has been difficult for students and staff.
“We didn’t have a lot of chance to bring people together,” she said.