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Often, when schools raise money, students are sent home bearing boxes of candy bars, glossy brochures of flavored popcorn or other items to hawk door to door, most of which eventually gets sold by parents.
Not North Elementary School. They went another route – like having students run around the gym awhile.
Not as crazy as it sounds, North Elementary’s Boosterthon Fun Run event Thursday, Jan. 17, was the culmination of a week-long fundraiser that combined education with fundraising – and raised approximately $12,000 for classroom technology in the process.
North Elementary Principal Dr. Linda Blackwell said the school chose the Atlanta-based Boosterthon organization because its program fit well with the school’s overall philosophy.
“We scheduled it for this week because we wanted them (students) to have something they could really buy into to start the semester,” Blackwell said. “The kids love these people because they get to talk about fitness, leadership and character.
“That’s important for us because we want to develop the whole child,” she said. “And look at these kids, they’re having a blast.
“It’s showing them learning can be fun,” she said.
During the week-long fundraiser, the school started each day with two minutes of physical fitness as a warm up. The remainder of the day was dedicated to a different topic: Day one, character; day two, learning; day three, fitness; and day four, choosing to have a good attitude.
The lessons featured famous people who exemplified the topic under consideration such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for Leadership, Abraham Lincoln for character and George Eyser for physical fitness.
Eyser, who lost his left leg when he was run over by a train, won six medals – three gold, two silver and one bronze – in one day during the 1904 Olympics.
Throughout the week, students in all grade levels from kindergarten to fifth grade to special education raised pledges payable upon their completion of 25 to 35 laps run around the gymnasium, a mile or more of running in all.
“It’s great!” third-grader Kezireona Nelson said. “We get to run around and listen to music, and I like raising money for the school so we can make the world a better place.”
Looks like the school’s philosophy is sinking in.
Blackwell said the fundraiser couldn’t have succeeded without the dedication of everyone involved, including students, parents and the community.
Parents such as Tony Stover, whose daughter, Tomayer, is a third-grader, said the fundraiser was a great idea that was easy to get behind.
“I loved it,” Stover said. “I like the idea of kids getting out and hustling hard. It brings a lot out of all of them.”
Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151