Pupils taking Steptember bid in stride

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New entrants at St Joseph’s School Timaru are stepping up to the challenge of Steptember.

The youngsters have welcomed the challenge of Steptember, a nationwide initiative which encourages participants to take 10,000 steps each day, for 28 days.

St Joseph’s School children have exceeded that on at least one occasion. Their record number of steps in one day is 23,000.

Their aim is also to raise money for people living with cerebral palsy, a condition which affects movement, something new entrant Lillian Geddes (5) knows all about.

Lillian, “a very much-loved” St Joseph’s pupil, who featured in the Super Power Baby Projectbook alongside children with chromosomal and genetic conditions, has cerebral palsy.

The youngster ventures out on the regular walks using her wheelchair, an activity that allows her to have fun with her friends while they tour nearby streets of the school.

Her class covers about 1km on their outings – once around the block of the school – which they gauge via a pedometer step-counter they were supplied with after signing up.

New-entrant teacher Megan Cahill, who leads the walks, said they had invited VIPs along, including parents, siblings, grandparents and a fireman, among others.

In return, they are asked to donate a gold coin to the cause.

“At the moment we have raised $312.50, which is a pretty good effort,” Mrs Cahill said, late last week.

The class initially had a target of $200.

“It’s just been the most amazing experience in terms of the people that are here and them interacting with the children.”

Steptember has also encouraged the children to use maths as they add up their distances and money raised.

“I think, as a teacher, you are always looking for opportunities to broaden the knowledge of the children, and this opportunity came along. I thought what a wonderful cause for a wonderful pupil that we’ve got,” Mrs Cahill said.