The students and staff at Third Creek Elementary observed a special annual tradition Friday morning.
Wearing a variety of pink clothing, and with some going pink with their hair as well, the students gathered in the parking lot and formed a pink ribbon as part of their Pink Out Day.
The Pink Out was the finale of a week in which the school recognized Breast Cancer Awareness Week.
Treva Miller, data manager at Third Creek and a breast cancer survivor, said the students took part in activities all week to bring attention to breast cancer. On Monday it was Black Out Cancer, and students were encouraged to wear black. Tuesday it was Hats Off to the Fighters, and hats were added to the attire for the day. Wednesday was Let’s Fight Against Cancer, and it was a day to wear camouflage.
And on Thursday, it was dress-up day for Let’s Celebrate the Cure for Cancer.
Miller said Breast Cancer Awareness Week is something the students and staff at Third Creek have embraced since she’s been at the school, a total of eight years.
Monica VanPert-Johnson, who is part of a support group that includes Miller, said the kids participate in this annual tradition out of love for Miller.
“These kids absolutely, positively love her,” she said.
Pointing to several large, pink, handmade, heart-shaped decorations on the wall in Miller’s office, VanPert-Johnson said they are a symbol of that love.
“If she’s out, they want to know where she’s at,” she said. “It teaches them empathy and sympathy. They love doing this, and it’s a good thing.”
Miller said she believes participation in the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Week activities involves the children in something that has touched many of their young lives.
“Many of them have been impacted by cancer, and this helps get the word out,” she said.
Principal Jonathan Nicastro and Assistant Principal Jennifer Dalton are supportive of the Breast Cancer Awareness Week activities, Miller said.
Nicastro said participation in this week is one of the reasons Third Creek students excel in more than just the classroom, although they do that as well.