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Peer Ed Organizes Virtual Yards for Yeardley

The Upper School Peer Education committee reimagined the annual Yards for Yeardley program this year with Yards for Yeardley: Social Distancing Edition.

Yards for Yeardley is run in coordination with the One Love Foundation. One Love’s mission is to educate young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships. The organization was founded by the friends and family of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old lacrosse player at UVA who was killed by her boyfriend during the spring of her senior year.

School closure due to COVID-19, and practicing social distancing, caused the NCDS community to get creative this year when adding up its yards.

“Two years ago, students logged yards by running together on the Upper Field,” explained Fitness Director and Co-Moderator of Peer Ed Caroline Earle. “Last year we calculated ‘yards’ in different team lift exercises. This year’s virtual program really proves that ‘movement is movement is movement,’ and it is all for an important cause.”

For two weeks in May, Peer Ed co-heads A. McCormack ’20 and E. O’Kelly-Lynch ’20 invited Upper School students, faculty, and staff members to join in a “virtual MOVEment.” The goal was to move as a community, raise awareness about healthy relationships, and log 500,000 “yards” in Yeardley’s honor.

McCormack and O’Kelly-Lynch emphasized to the community that it was not necessary to leave your house to get involved, offering many ideas about how to log “yards” from home. Ways that people contributed to the goal included running, walking their dog, and participating in group workouts over Zoom. Since activities could not be logged in person to members of Peer Ed, girls in Grades 9-12 received an email with a Google Sheet where they logged their distance (steps/miles/meters) or time (minutes).

By the conclusion of the program, the NCDS community had logged over 2.5 million yards, far surpassing the goal of 500,000 yards. Upper School faculty and staff received special recognition for logging the highest amount of yards as a group.

In a video thanking the community for its participation, O’Kelly-Lynch said, “We are so grateful for your enthusiasm over the two weeks. None of this would have been possible without you.”

“This event is very important not just to our community, but to schools around the country,” added McCormack. “We are so happy that so many of you participated and contributed to the millions of yards for this cause.”