I-985 project wraps upTimes news video
JEFFERSON — They may have been running in circles on Friday, but the Jefferson Elementary School students were running with a purpose.
On top of soaking up the sunshine, students were busy running laps on the school’s front lawn as a part of the Boosterthon Fun Run — a fundraiser for new playground equipment for the school.
“This is the first time that we’ve done it, but it was awesome,” said Leah Mays, Parent Teacher Organization president at the school.
Instead of doing the usual food-selling fundraisers, the PTO officers wanted to find alternative ways the students could help make a positive change at their school.
“We thought that if the kids could work athletically to help pay for the new equipment that it would be great,” Mays said.
Prior to the run, the students collected pledges for each lap they completed. The goal was for each student to complete 25 to 35 laps around a mini-track. Every student participated in the fun run, whether or not they received pledges.
“It was awesome, I got the lap cap,” second-grader Jojo Lindsey said.
Students achieved the lap cap by completing 35 laps, which was about the equivalent of two miles.
Like Jojo, most of the students completed at least 35 laps, but they weren’t running the entire time. There were also dance-themed laps. During one of the laps, the students all slowed down and put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them to form a conga line around the entire track.
Besides raising money, another goal of the program was to help students learn character, based on the theme of standing up and making a difference in the world.
“For the last week, the (Boosterthon team) has gone into each of the classrooms and conducted daily, five-minute pop-ins related to character education,” Principal Diane Oliver said. “The team also promoted the importance of reading.”
The team gave students strategies for coming out on top in the race and during any sort of physical activity.
“I drank lots of water (during the race) because they told us not to get dehydrated,” second-grader Sara McMullan said. “If you do get dehydrated, you could pass out.”
“We also learned to make sure our shoes were tied,” second-grader Olivia Harris said. “Because if they are untied, we could trip and fall and injure ourselves.”
Safety first was a big lesson for the students.
“You have to be careful and look out for the other runners,” second-grader Mackenzie Fowler added. “Because you could trip over someone’s foot and fall.”
Although the students have to spend the next week collecting the money from their pledges, a preliminary tally suggests the students met their goal to win the ultimate prize — sliming their principal.
Although no one looks forward to being doused with thick, sticky slime, Oliver said she is OK with it since it is for a good cause.
“The PTO worked diligently putting this all together and the students did a very good job,” Oliver said. “It was a fun way to raise money and will be added to the PTO’s playground equipment fund. They will use the money to refurbish our playground — it’s been years since we’ve been able to do that.”