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Bubble Run provides funds for homeless city students

Lime green will be the color of the day for Lawton High School Key Club's second annual Stride 4 Shelter 5K Bubble Run Saturday. 

All proceeds from the event will go to the McKinney-Vento program, which helps students in the district who are homeless and the homeless student awareness color is lime green, said Sean Tolbert, president of Lawton High Key Club. 

The run will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lawton High track with packet pickup and on-site registration from 9 to 9:50 a.m. at the same location. 

Registration is $20 per person. Those who registered online by March 10 are guaranteed a race T-shirt along with a race bib and the fun of running through foam and bubbles. Online registration at ends at noon Friday. 

Runners and walkers will probably get a little wet when they run through the bubbles and foam, so they are advised to dress comfortably, Tolbert said. Everyone is welcome to cheer the participants on and enjoy the vendors and music on site. Information will be available for those who want to assist the community and those in need.

Those who want to sponsor the event can either stop by the registration table at the event or email, he said. Donations also will be accepted at the event.

There is a dual purpose behind the event, said Foster Hillis, Lawton High Key Club secretary and Lt. Governor-elect for the district's Key Clubs in Lawton, Elgin and two schools in Wichita Falls, Texas.

"Not only do we donate money to the McKinney-Vento fund, but we are also raising visibility of (the issue of) homeless students ... because they don't have a normal life and we are trying to help normalize it," Foster said, explaining that the sharply rising numbers of homeless students identified since 2009 "is almost an epidemic."

The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act defines homeless children and youth as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence."

There are more than 750 students in the Lawton Public Schools district, from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, who were identified as of May 2016, said Andrea Winstead, district liaison for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program. The program is also known as the LPS Homeless Education Program, but "students and families call it the McKinney-Vento program."

The Lawton Constitution

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