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Sandy Journal

Sprucewood’s obstacle course produces fun alternative way to fundraising

Dec 02, 2022 05:50PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

When the idea of a fun run fundraiser didn’t excite Sprucewood Elementary students, PTA president-elect and fun run coordinator Brooke Mathews didn’t get flustered.

She turned it into an obstacle course fun run.

“The kids wanted to do something different, so I just used some ideas and that my kids love to do and I made it up as an obstacle course,” she said about last year’s inaugural year.

This year, Mathews expanded the obstacle course fun run from seven different courses to nine, changing some of the challenges.

“There are some for more physical strength, some are for accuracy, some are more mental. We incorporated all the senses into each obstacle course and tried to have students use different body parts for each obstacle as well,” she said.

Students could do an egg toss carry, a football throw, cup stacking, several throwing activities, tug of war or several other activities.

The class with the best percentage of donations, Emigh Lo’s second-graders, won a root beer float party, which was held Nov. 11.

Overall, Sprucewood’s 315 students raised about $5,000 which will go toward PTA-sponsored events such as class parties, field trips, ribbon weeks, teacher appreciation, Reflections and other activities, Mathews said.

While the goal was to raise funds, “it’s not always about the money. We want to let kids be kids, to go outside and play and not have something stressful,” she said.

There also was an optional competition area where students had to throw something for accuracy, run a sprint and pull a weight for a certain distance and there was a winner from each grade level who received a pack of Extra gum and a $5 gift card.

“We told the winners, ‘way to go with the Extra mile’ and played off that,” she said.

One thing that Mathews appreciated was having each grade participate on their own so parents could see them or join them doing the activities.

“If the parents or grandparents wanted, they could go and experience the courses with them for 15-20 minutes, having fun and being healthy and active,” she said. “This obstacle course involved everyday activities like soccer, basketball, football jump roping and balancing things. All those things contribute to improving your health and they’re having fun being healthy together.”

In addition, Mathews said that “every teacher from every grade” participated.

“I think the most fun part is the interaction and involvement in the school. Teachers were interacting with kids, getting down and doing the army crawl, walking the plank or throwing a football,” she said. “It just builds a different relationship between the kids and teachers within our school community.”