A Splash of Color Makes Running Fun

A Splash of Color Makes Running Fun
Posted on 10/17/2019
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Is it possible to combine health, fundraising and fun? The answer is yes if you’re a Lakota junior school student. Students throwing colored powder and running

Parent-teacher organizations at each of the district’s four junior schools used fall runs as not only a fun activity for students, but a fundraiser for their schools. “The run has become far beyond a money maker for our PTSO,” said Jeff Rouff, principal at Hopewell Junior School. “It has become an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate junior high style.” More than 700 students participated in runs across the district. 

While this was the second year for Hopewell, Liberty, Plains and Ridge were all in for the event this year. “We wanted to do something that would be fun for the kids because we understand that parents would rather spend money on their kids to do an activity rather than purchase something,” said Jennifer Collier from the Plains PTO. After hearing about last year’s success at Hopewell Junior, they decided to give it a try. “It went great. It was very memorable and everyone had fun despite the rain.”

Each school set up a course for students to follow, which included “color stations” along the way. Parent and staff volunteers doused the runners with special powder, turning not only their clothes, but them, into a veritable rainbow of color. “Before the run, students didn’t know what to expect, but after they did, they really had fun and liked it,” reflected Ridge eighth grader Leah Schleibaum.

Jennifer Kegg from the Hopewell Junior School PTSO is grateful for the support of staff members and families who made donations to help students who did not have the means to participate. “We had enough (money donated) for 34 student sponsorships!”

Together, the schools raised more than $50,000 from student and corporate donations. From after school clubs to honor roll rewards to scholarships for the eighth grade Washington, D.C. trip, each parent-teacher organization will put the money to good use for student programming and activities. Jaime Lyden from the Liberty Junior School PTO is happy to support the sense of community at her school. “(Mr.) Bauman is focused on building a sense of community within LJS and encouraging the students to get involved and make connections to other students, staff, and administrators. We do everything we can to provide opportunities that support that effort.”

Kim Wade, principal at Plains Junior, noted that students and staff are still talking about the day. The only school that had rain as an uninvited guest, Wade said that didn’t stop the smiles. Even though we had some rain, it did not put a damper on our fun! An event like this brings students, parents and staff members together in a friendly environment. Students could walk, run or be pushed in their wheelchairs. It was an event that (everyone) could participate in.”

The Hopewell PTSO is happy that all four schools are running the same fundraiser. “We love that Hopewell Junior inspired all (the) junior schools throughout Lakota to try something new and fun,” noted Susanne Page, Hopewell’s co-chair of the event. “I think streamlining our PTSO programs and moving together in the same direction strengthens our entire community and we all benefit from it.” 

Want to check out some of the highlights? Click here to watch a video of Lakota’s four fall runs.