Debbi and Roland Radack joined other Silver Mesa Elementary family members lining the path at Falcon Park May 8, cheering on students who finished running either 1.5 or 3 miles in an effort to raise funds for new Chromebooks for the school.
Roland Radack joined his first-grade grandson, Joshua, on the last lap.
“We’re getting new computers so I can do math games like Moby Max and Reflex Math,” Joshua said. “I was running around the school field (to get ready for the jog-a-thon).”
Debbi Radack takes a photo of her grandson, Joshua, and her husband, Roland, after they complete Silver Mesa’s jog-a-thon together at Falcon Park. The run started at the school. Photo courtesy of Julie Slama
Debbi Radack, who held a sign for Joshua, said that she, like other families, sent in pledges to help raise money for the Chromebooks.
“I haven’t worked on a Chromebook, but I help with reading and volunteer in the class,” she said.
Principal Julie Fielding said that they hope to raise $12,000 to purchase 33 Chromebooks, along with a cart that can be moved from classroom to classroom. Chromebooks are laptop computers running Google’s Chrome OS as their operating system.
“We want to increase technology here and this way, any teacher can have access to the Chromebooks,” she said.
Currently, the school has about 175 laptops or Chromebooks for 300 students.
“It’s a digital world and as digital citizens, they will need to be able to be proficient in a number of skills, starting with keyboarding. Technology is changing how we teach and learn, and we need to integrate it more into our classrooms,” Fielding said.
Fitness is another “big push” for Silver Mesa students, Fielding said.
“We encourage kids to run and walk during recess, and often our teachers join them. We’ve had parents volunteering to count their laps each day for the past three weeks, as well as joining them here running or handing out water and apples,” she said.
Students who turned in permission slips and healthy-eating charts, as well as ran laps, were eligible to win daily prizes, which were donated by community businesses.
“We’ve had incredible parent help and parents have been a big part of our focus on fitness,” said teacher Maria Bailey, who added that the fun run has been held annually since she started teaching at the school 17 years ago. “It has grown to become a fun tradition. This is the first year we’ve offered the 5K.”
For second grader Payton Manukyan, it’s a chance to have fun with friends, her mom, Amanda and little sister, Lilit, while running to help her condition for her recreational soccer team.
“I like to spend time with my mom as we jog the fun run, and I’ve run laps around the school field with my friends the past two weeks,” she said. “It gets me healthy and it’s fun.”