Park Lake students run for fun and funds
A Park Lane student encourages another during the school’s fun run fundraiser. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
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Kindergartner Finn Waldron had his shoes tied and he was ready to run in Park Lane Elementary’s Fun Run.
“He’s been really looking forward to it,” his father, Gary, said as he gave his son high-fives and cheered him on. “My fourth-grader (Keegan) is just as excited. He was asking relatives and neighbors for pledges. His 14-year-old cousin gave him $35 for the fun run.”
After the April 26 run, where Principal Justin Jeffery joined students running laps on the school field, Finn said he had fun.
The best part?
“Running in circles with my friends,” he said.
First-grader Lily Blackburn agreed that she liked running with her friends. However, her second-grade brother, Ben, said his favorite part was “beating the principal.”
Jeffrey, dressed in a cape, said he dressed to match the superheroes school theme.
“It’s fun for the kids and fitting as I tell them I’m a Super Principal,” he said. “I’m here to keep them motivated.”
The run served as a fundraiser for PTA programs, such as Reflections, White and Red Ribbon weeks and field trips, said PTA President Jeanne Prestwich.
Days before the April 26 fundraiser, the students already exceeded their $12,000 goal by $2,000.
“We’re thrilled that our community is so generous so we can continue our programs for kids,” she said. “We also are glad they’re so supportive running and cheering on our students during the run.”
The students were inspired to get pledges as Jeffrey offered to be duct taped to the multipurpose wall if they met their goal.
“The duct taping went wonderfully well. The kids absolutely loved it,” Prestwich said, adding that teachers as well as top students who brought in the most donations got to help with the duct taping.
Jeffrey said that the students appreciated his commitment.
“The kids were totally into to — chanting while I was getting taped. I think they loved being involved. The highlight was that I stayed there and that the kids had a good time with it all. I like to be able to do fun things like this and then for the kids to see that I’m true to my word,” he said.
Prestwich said the run also served as an avenue to inform students about choosing a healthy lifestyle.
“We partnered with Alta View Hospital this year and had them teach our students about healthy choices for food and exercise. They encouraged the students to start now and gave them jump ropes to start exercising,” she said, adding that they donated T-shirts for the fun run day.
The theme of the run, BELIEVE, was selected to teach students about themselves.
B stands for “be you,” E for “eat well,” L for “leadership,” I for “invest in your future,” E for “exercise,” V for “visions for your future,” and E for “enrich your life,” Prestwich said.
“We want them to look at their whole person and learn to take care of themselves, believe in themselves and eat and exercise. We also incorporated some mini character education lessons in with the daily reminders of fitness and healthy eating,” she said.
She said that in addition to the fun run chairs — Alan Anderson, Marsha Larson and Corinne Goodman — about 20 volunteers helped with the fun run.