Excuse St. John Neumann Regional School students if they walk with an extra bounce in their step.

That extra adrenaline rush can most likely be attributed to the school's annual Walk-A-Thon, set to be held on Friday.

Students from both the Palmerton and Slatington campuses will participate in the ninth annual event whereby the theme is "Natural Wonders."

"This lesson will reinforce how the critical role bees play and how fragile our ecosystem is to outside factors such as pollution, chemicals and destruction of natural habitats," said Bill Hinchey, event coordinator. "We will also tie in that we have a responsibility to take care of what God has created for us."

The day will begin with Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Palmerton. From there, the students will gather in the gym of the school for warm-up exercises prior to the walk.

Students in grades K-3 will take a path around the borough park, while students in grades 4-8 will follow a route through and around the town.

After lunch, the students will hear a presentation in conjunction with the theme of the event.

Hinchey said the event is held to raise funds and promote the school.

"The non-financial goals of the event is to teach our students about this year's theme in an exciting live demonstration," he said. "Our presenter this year is Cliff Sunflower, who is a local beekeeper and does a dynamic show that will get every student involved in understanding the role bees play in our ecosystem."

The financial goal of this year's event is to raise $15,000, which will help support various expenses such as books, computers, programs and field trips.