For the 31st Annual Walk Day, the McNicholas High School Administration decided to offer shorter routes as one of the prizes for the highest level of funds raised. While this will benefit the school financially, separating the students onto three tracks eliminates the sense of community that comes with walking together. It also proves difficult for families who have multiple students at McNicholas who all want to raise $150 for the McNick Mile.
For the past 30 years of the Walk, students were asked to collect money and then walk a 7 mile predetermined route. Now the length of the walk will be determined by the amount of money raised by the students. Students who raise $0 to $64 will walk the 6.2 mile Gold Course. A jeans day will also be offered to students who bring in $25. If students raise $65 to $149, they will walk the 3.7 mile White Course and earn two jeans days among other prizes. The one-mile Green Course is available to students who bring in $150 and over. The Green Course also comes with a McNick Mile t-shirt, a continental breakfast, unlimited use of the inflatable obstacle course in Paradise, and an entry into a drawing for gift cards and $1000. By raising $200 and over, students can achieve ‘Rocket Level,’ which includes all of the prizes as well as a free personal day.
Walk Day has undergone several changes in its history, but it has always been the school’s primary fundraiser involving students. The goal is to raise $40,000 for the school, but the administration always hopes to raise more. “Decisions that we make are driven financially, but we do try to make it a fun event,” Director of Curriculum Dan Rosenbaum explained.
With students walking three different routes, the Walk feels less like a school-wide event and more like a mandate that can be avoided by giving money. Senior Anna Schuh feels that the new format is based on a system that teaches people that they can get out of anything difficult. “This kind of system is wrong because it’s based on the idea that you don’t have to do difficult things like walk 6 miles if you can buy your way out of it,” Schuh said.
The administration made the change to offer a creative way to get students more involved in the Walk. “I think the different rewards have definitely gotten kids pumped up,” said Director of Educational Technology and Walk Day Committee member Katie Ritter.
Even though students will be spread across three different courses, the outcome will be the same: all money raised will benefit all students equally, and that in the end is the best prize of all.