WALLENPAUPACK - Students who may not normally be found on the playing field or performing in their school play united with their peers, for a recent project at Wallenpaupack Area High School.

Together, the students who may not have known one another took part in creating the world’s longest glass beaded necklace. The project is in support of Lonakana, a retreat that will help families coping with illnesses.

The inclusive activity was something for anyone interested, said English Teacher Kelly Obermiller. The emphasis on inclusion originated a few years ago, when Rachel’s Challenge was brought to the district. Today, having completed all components of that program, WAHS students have branched out and are now taking part in “Challenge Accepted” where they are continuing the concept, but on their own.

Inclusion has become a part of the district’s culture, said English Teacher Sara Rosencrance, because although everyone has always worked together, they are now able to spread kindness through another platform. This project allowed anyone interested in coming together, to accomplish a “greater goal.”

Students from across the United States participated in this project over a course of four months. Once finished, the necklace was a total of 6.4 miles, and on October 3 it was laid out and wrapped around the seven-plus mile track at Pocono Raceway.

Lonakana, according to a press release will be in Pleasant Mount and serve women and children recovering from cancer. At the retreat, their spirits will be rejuvenated and they will “make loving and lasting memories with families and friends.”

Maryann Corey and her husband created the program after starting a specialty art therapy program for women and children who were recovering in hospitals. From that, they created Bloom, a store that sells beaded products to help fund their mission.

Once complete, the home will have three handicap accessible cottages, as well as an art and yoga barn with a guest cottage according to the press release.

The finished necklace will be cut into 24” love beads that will be available online and in the gift shop for $20. All of the proceeds of the necklace will go to the retreat.

For more information about the Lonakana Project contact Maryann Corey at 201-914-1404 or visit www.lonakana.org.