ROSS TWP. — Last Friday’s cool temperatures didn’t prevent Ross Elementary students from running and dancing outside for the fourth annual Race for Education.
Race for Education is the only fundraiser held by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization to finance academic programs, field trips and supplies for educational activities for the entire school year, said Nancy Walsh, the PTO treasurer.
“This is our fourth year holding this fundraiser,” said Melissa Lukavitch, the secretary of the PTO.
Race for Education requires students to collect addresses of family and friends and, using either a form letter or writing a letter, to solicit donations from them.
Melissa Appel, mother of first-grader Lily, said the fundraiser is much easier to participate in than toting products and order forms around and then coordinating with buyers to drop off items.
Lily disagrees with her mother.
“It was hard to collect the addresses,” Lily said.
But the hard work paid off in many ways for the school and for the students.
“Last year, we raised over $9,000,” Lukavitch said. “It is very successful.”
On the day of the event, the PTO received about $7,000, Walsh said, adding donations were still flowing in.
Classes could earn pizza, popcorn or ice cream parties for bringing in the most labels, Walsh and Lukavitch said.
Students who brought in 10 or more labels had their names entered into a drawing to win a $25 Target gift card, Lukavitch said.
Also, students got to take a break from academics and have a little fun.
From 9 to 10 a.m. kindergarten, first- and second-grade students danced, walked and ran around a designated square in a field behind the elementary school. Third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students had their opportunity to shine from 10 to 11 a.m.
The PTO provided a refreshment table to give students an opportunity to re-energize.
As Fitz and the Tantrums’ song “HandClap” blared out of portable speakers, students danced, walked and ran around a designed square in a field behind the elementary school.
One youngster did somersaults, while another held up his two fingers forming the “V” shaped peace sign and strutted in front of the speakers.
While teachers and parents organized the “Hokey Pokey” and “Chicken Dance” in the center of the square, school Principal Lori Bednarek challenged a group of about 10 boys to a race.
The wrap up to the school’s fundraiser was a success, according to kindergartner Ione Ungureit.
“It was fun,” Lone said. “My favorite part is the music.”