SAN ANTONIO – Students and faculty at a middle school in the Edgewood Independent School District came together in a special and unique way on Thursday, following the tragic events that unfolded in Uvalde earlier this week.
Several students, teachers and staff at Gus Garcia University School ran a combined 83 miles of laps to match the distance between the two schools and honor the 21 victims at Robb Elementary.
The school gathered in prayer just before the run.
“Every day you come into these classrooms, you just go into a protection mode because those are our children you know, and I would do anything for those kids to protect them, to make them feel safe and I knew that’s exactly what those teachers were doing,” Elizabeth Reyes, an art teacher at Gus Garcia said.
Reyes started running in 2010 and said the purpose was to show love and support.
“I share my story with all my students, and they are totally in it 100% because they believe in the purpose. And that’s just to let people know that you are loved, you are important and that you are seen. And this is the way that I can share my love through running,” Reyes said.
The distance between Gus Garcia and Robb Elementary is about 83 miles, and that was exactly the goal for Reyes and her students.
“I figured I could run with the students, to 83 miles. They would run, four laps equals a mile, so I would jump in and run a lap, and that’s 83 laps for me, and 83 divided by four, there’s 21,” Reyes said.
The Uvalde school shooting has since inspired communities from all over the state to come together, but for some, the incident hits close to home.
“On Wednesday morning, I woke up to find out that my second-grade teacher had passed away, Mrs. Garcia,” Amador Mayo Bermea, a teacher at Gus Garcia said.
Bermea said the day’s run is a huge display of support.
“It is very greatly appreciated knowing that outside of the community there are people that have our backs and support us and help us get through the pain together as one,” Bermea said.