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YouthLink prayerwalk in St. Louis raises books, awareness for schools

ST. LOUIS (BP)–College students from across the country took to the St. Louis streets Dec. 30 to participate in a prayerwalk dedicated to the city’s school district. The event was part of YouthLink 2000 Dec. 29-31.

More than 60 students participated. The prayerwalk began inside the America Center and stretched for about a mile to the Gateway Arch. Leslie Limbaugh, campus minister for the Metro St. Louis area, said the purpose of the walk was to raise awareness and collect books for 67 schools in the city. Students who didn’t bring a book to donate were given an opportunity to give money during the walk.

Limbaugh said coordinators of the prayerwalk wanted to create an event that gave college students the opportunity to participate in something that could make a difference in the lives of others.

“We wanted something that would involve the college students who attended [YouthLink] and also something that encouraged awareness,” she said. “This is something physical we can do. You can’t pick up a paper without reading something good, bad or otherwise about the school district.”

She hopes the prayerwalk will challenge college students to look for needs in their own communities as well. After students arrived at the foot of the arch, they gathered to pray and sing. One college student led the group in worship music while another shared her testimony.

Following the brief worship time, a couple of boxes full of books were presented to Mike DuBose, executive assistant to the superintendent of schools in St. Louis.

DuBose expressed his gratitude to the students for their effort. Through education, young lives can be properly nurtured, he said.

“It is easier to build children than repair adults,” he said. “You have to be willing to put in a little more on the front side and not as much on the back side.”

Amy Dismuke, a junior education major at Fontbonne College in St. Louis, was one of several students who brought books to donate. She said encouraging children to read is something everyone should take seriously. “Reading is the most important thing a child can learn,” she said. “Without reading, you can’t do anything.”

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  • Shawn Hendricks