Fighting back

Faust Elementary students learn about cancer awareness, participate in walk during Relay Recess event

Spreading awareness: Students at Samuel K. Faust Elementary in Bensalem enjoyed a recent visit by the Relay Recess team, the members of which are volunteers for Relay for Life Bensalem. Samantha Bambino / Times Photo

Throughout the day on Tuesday, Oct. 8, the students of Samuel K. Faust Elementary School, located at 2901 Bellview Ave., Bensalem, enjoyed fun games, extra outdoor time and a special pizza party.

It was a high-energy day full of smiles and laughter, but the jam-packed schedule had deeper meaning than simply providing students a good time – each activity was meticulously designed to promote cancer awareness among youth.

During “special” periods in the gym, each grade took a turn participating in a session run by the Relay Recess team, the members of which are volunteers for Relay for Life Bensalem – a local version of the American Cancer Society’s nationwide event that celebrates the lives of those who have battled cancer, remembers loved ones lost, and fights back against the disease.

At 10 a.m., it was the fourth-graders’ turn to convene in the gym. This year, Relay Recess was joined by a handful of Sodexo interns, who captivated the kids as they discussed healthy habitats and ways to actively prevent cancer, such as wearing sunscreen when going outdoors and making sure to partake in physical activity each day.

Samantha Bambino / Times Photo

“We try to get the kids when they’re young. We talk to them about healthy living,” explained Norene Pratt, a Relay for Life Bensalem volunteer.

The children were able to ask questions about cancer, a ravaging disease that’s currently affecting three students at Faust. Many inquiries were things adults don’t often think about, such as, “Is cancer contagious?”

After the educational portion of the workshop, the students transitioned to the other half of the gym, where they participated in light exercise and movement.

Ahead of Relay Recess’ visit, the kids took home blank Luminaria bags, which they were invited to decorate in memory of someone who lost their cancer battle, or in honor of someone who is currently battling or has survived cancer.

Samantha Bambino / Times Photo

Currently, the bags are on display for all to see in the main hallway of Faust, though they will eventually be collected by Relay for Life Bensalem volunteers. During its annual relay event in June, the students’ creativity will be showcased for all attendees to see.

“We’ll have a special location at night where these bags will be displayed,” said Pratt.

At the end of the day, the entire Faust community gathered at the back of the school, where they completed a large-scale relay/walk. Additionally, the class that raised the most money for the American Cancer Society prior to Relay Recess received a complimentary pizza party. ••

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com