Local teachers strut their stuff at ‘Rock the Runway’

By David Broyles

March 23, 2014

Mount Airy City Schools teachers got to release their inner “fashionista” and benefit the community at the Mount Airy Downtown Business Association’s “Rock the Runway” event Saturday afternoon at Old North State Winery.

“We try to do events where we include different businesses downtown,” said Association President Phil Marsh. “We especially enjoy events where it benefits groups and food drives such as this. These types of events also bring people together downtown where they can see what great businesses we have on Main Street.”

Marsh praised the support of Old North State in helping to stage the fashion show which set a goal of making a difference in the lives of children benefiting from the Hungry Bears Back Pack program. This program provides underprivileged students with a backpack of food supply to sustain them for a weekend. Admission to Rock the Runway could be specific non-perishable food items or a monetary donation.

“The DBA is all about all about what we can do to support the community, downtown and promote business,” Marsh said. “We want to recognize everybody who participates in this as well. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Association board member Jenna Puckett said that this marked the first spring fashion show for the Rock the Runway effort, with the event typically being held in August, when tax-free weekends were held. She said that while this show appeared to have raised around $100 in cash and a large amount of non-perishable food earmarked for the Mount Airy City Schools, the group rotates which schools receive proceeds.

“This is something for all city schools and we’ll do events which will benefit the county as well,” said Puckett. “We want to benefit not just the downtown area but the entire community. Coordinating this with teachers and main office personnel really worked well. This is the best turnout we have had.”

She said early estimates said $100 in cash had been collected as well as a sizable amount of non perishable food items donated. Teacher Conni Tucker was positive about her walk down the runway.

“Becoming a model for the day was fun, but the best part was laughing and enjoying the experience with my Mount Airy City Schools family,” said Tucker. “Supporting the Hungry Bears Backpack program made getting out of my comfort zone well worth it.”

Published reports have documented hunger’s effects can be critical to vulnerable and growing children, whether it involves skipping meals, eating less than is needed to live a healthy life or making due with foods that are filling but lack nutrition.

Research indicates even mild under-nutrition experienced by a young child during critical periods of growth may lead to reductions in physical growth and affect brain development, threatening a child’s natural abilities and potential over a lifetime. Potential consequences include higher rates of school failure, poor returns on educational investments and weakened workforce productivity when children reach the age of employment.

David Broyles may be reached at 336-729-1952 or on Twitter @MtAiryNewsDave.