NEW BRITAIN - The CREC Academy of Science and Innovation is hoping the community will join its effort to promote unity and positivity through a 5K run and walk.
The magnet school has organized the “Eliminate Hate” event for June 2.
Assistant Principal Tasonn Haynes said the idea came up shortly after the events in Charlottesville, Va., last August after a “Unite the Right” rally turned violent.
“I ended up receiving a call from our building principal and he wanted to discuss what we could do as a school to address what happened, because we knew there were going to be some raw feelings coming into the school year,” Haynes said.
Haynes said he thought focusing on what happened in Charlottesville would be too small in scope, so the school expanded is message.
“I said, ‘What we probably should do as a school community is focus on eliminating hate, because hate does really encompass what took place in Charlottesville, which was racially motivated, but also sexism, racism,” Haynes said.
From then on, the Eliminate Hate campaign was formed. The school held a t-shirt design competition for students to pitch designs to be worn during the walk. A team of teachers was formed to brainstorm ways to make this event a success.
“We decided to get the whole school community involved as best we could,” Haynes said.
The school’s Eliminate Hate campaign culminates with a 5K walk/run next month at Walnut Hill Park.
“I decided that we really should do this walk primarily because I want to get not only students involved, but I want to get their families involved and I also want to get the community involved as well,” Haynes said.
“Even though we’re not a New Britain school, this is still were we reside and we want to connect to the community,” said Shayna Chomko, another organizer for next month’s walk.
American Eagle Financial Credit Union helped fund next month’s event with a sponsorship and the school will be selling Eliminate Hate shirts to cover some of the other costs.
“It was an act of hate that gave genesis to this whole thing, and our kids are responding well,” Haynes said, adding that many students have approached him about wanting to be ambassadors for the event.
The event is a great way for students to earn community service hours, too, Haynes said.
“This would be a great way for you to show community, participate in something, and also get community service hours since you’re giving back to your community,” Haynes said, echoing what he’s said to students.
If the event is a rousing success, Haynes hopes to annualize it.
“For me, success with this event would really just be people coming together – It’d be those photos of people walking, running, laughing,” Haynes said. “The only way to really combat hate is through love, and through friendship and fellowship. That’s what we really want to show our community.”
The Eliminate Hate 5K run/walk will take place at Walnut Hill Park from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 2.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.