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Sandy Journal

Alta View principal kisses pig as part of successful fun run fundraiser

Feb 09, 2024 02:46PM ● By Julie Slama

Alta View Principal Scott Jameson gives a pig a smack after students surpassed their goal to raise $44,000 in their fun run fundraiser. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Davies Photography)

Alta View Elementary Principal Scott Jameson wasn’t going to chance it — not after a student said she felt bad for Mrs. Jameson.

With his back to students, Jameson bent down and kissed the head of Wilbur, a cute, stout, bristle-haired pig. When he stood up, students realized he wore plastic lips, much like those worn at Halloween.

“One of the teachers suggested I get some red, fake lips; it made kissing the pig easier,” he said.

It was an incentive students earned for raising funds during the school’s traditional fun run.

“We made about $44,000, the most ever,” said Jessica Davies, school PTA president, who said Jameson was joined by about 10 other teachers who puckered up to Wilbur.

Davies said the school got assistance from Boosterthon, which kept about $12,000, however the remaining $32,000 still exceeded their goal of $25,000. Funds will be used for Red Ribbon Week, art activity kits, literacy night, field trips, attendance incentives, books for the book vending machine, military appreciation day, family activity nights and more.

To earn the funds, students got donations or pledges per lap they ran in the school field. Instead of knocking on doors, many students made a video about their participation in the run and sent it to friends and family via text or email.

“Donations were mostly online. We had about 60% of the donations came from non-immediate family members. We did some fun things with that. We had a map and anytime we’d get a donation from a different state we would color that in we wanted to see how many we could get,” she said.

Jameson said along with the promotion of the fun run, the videos and online donations really helped make a difference this year.

“The key is the kids make a personalized video and that gets sent out to relatives across the state, across the country even outside of the country. We have a greater reach to get those donations. Kelsey Fitzgerald, our PTA fundraising coordinator, did a fantastic job organizing everything and gave me information to share with students about the fun run for the morning announcements. The highlight is that everybody, parents, students and teachers, all unified under a common goal. I think we brought in three times what a school would typically bring in because everybody worked together to achieve this goal.”

Students ran for about 45 minutes as a DJ, dressed as a panda, hyped them up with music.

Davies said students ran up to 35 laps or about three miles. 

“Mostly they ran, but we had fun laps where they could dance, or pretend to be an airplane. Our buddy lap was a lot of fun. They’d find a friend and link arms. Every kid in the school who was here that day, all 485 of them, participated,” she said.

Davies tallied contributions from 34 states and locally, support from students’ families.

“Family members came and cheered. We had pom poms and little clappers. Some of our teachers ran and Mr. Jameson ran some with all the grades,” she said, adding that the roadrunner mascot also danced, cheered and gave students high-5s.

Leading up to the run and the final assembly, students had an opportunity to earn incentives. When they had 90% of the student body commit to the run – 10% higher than their goal — students could wear pajamas to school. 

“Pajama Man, the superhero, came that day. He looks very similar to Mr. Jameson and the kids loved that,” she said.

Jameson said his original plan was to dress as a superhero, but then they wanted a pajama day.

“We decided to combine the two and had some fun with it,” he said. “I felt like I was a celebrity. I visited every classroom that day and the cafeteria. Pajama Man was hugely popular. He was a bigger hit than I imagined.”

The fun run wasn’t just a commitment to earn funds and run; there were also some lessons involved, Davies said.

“There’s a theme every year with some character traits,” she said. “About five minutes every morning, students watch a video and it features character traits that we also read about. We all learn it and teachers wear T-shirts with that theme; this year, it’s ‘be a world changer.’ So we’d talk about five different things you can do to become a world changer and it’s something that can be reinforced through the year.” 

But all good things come to an end and for Jameson, he got whatever was going around.

“Mr. Jameson got sick, but he did the morning video announcements,” Davies said. “He sent the video in saying he came down with the swine flu — and peaked out of the blanket with a pig nose and pig ears on.” λ