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Greencastle-Antrim students surpass Race for Education goal

Many parents happy to see product-based fundraisers go away

October 19, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • "Blue," Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devil's mascot, kept the energy high as third-graders walked, jogged and ran around the track around Kaley Field during the Race for Education on Friday which helped raise more than $70,000 to benefit the Greencastle-Antrim Elementary and Primary School PTO.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — The days of selling cookie dough, pizza and candles to raise money for extras at the Greencastle-Antrim primary and elementary schools are over - at least for this year.

The Greencastle-Antrim Primary and Elementary PTO held its first Race for Education on Friday hoping to raise $50,000 to eliminate the need for a fall and spring fundraiser this year, PTO Vice President Brittny Paci said.

“So, far we’ve raised $70,000,” said a shocked Paci. “And we have more mailers coming in every day.”

The PTO looked at a different way to raise funds after sales from its product-based fundraisers began to spiral downward.

After conducting a survey, the PTO found that more than 80 percent of the respondents said they would rather give a direct donation than do a product-based sale.

That’s when the PTO introduced Race for Education to the district.

Race for Education is an annual jog-a-thon that involves students walking or jogging around a designated area for one hour. Race for Education programs have been conducted in more than 1,500 schools in 40 states since the company’s founding in 1996, according to the website.

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“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback (about Race for Education). It’s obvious that people in this community really love and support the school, and their kids, and they want them to have a lot of opportunities,” Paci said.

The PTO’s original $50,000 goal funded field trips for every classroom, classroom grants to the teachers, assemblies, author visits to the entire school and educationally-based purchases needed throughout the two schools, according to Paci.

“Since we have surpassed our goal, we will be looking to provide something extra this year. We have not decided what yet,” she said.

The PTO will ask the primary and elementary school principals what educational needs they have, and determine if the money can meet those needs.

Most of the third-graders whizzed around the track at Kaley Field as if they had energy to burn.

But, Gabriella Grazetta, Jasmine Bailey and Alyssa Armentrout took a different approach.

The three pals strolled around the track with their arms around each others’ shoulders.

“It’s more fun to walk as friends,” Jasmine said.

Jackson Wright, 9, took a break from his run-walk rhythm to discuss the Race for Education.

“A lot of people gave support, and they sponsored me in my race. And it’s just wonderful,” he said.

Julie Rohm stood by the fence to cheer for her son Connor as he breezed by her.

She is one parent who is happy to see the product-based fundraisers go away.

“The kids weren’t going door-to-door. It was the parents who were selling to their co-workers and family members,” Rohm said.

She said the Race for Education gives the students a sense of ownership.

“They understand. They collected the names from the parents, and then they sent the letters. I know the people who received my son’s letter were excited, because he wrote a little note on it,” Rohm said.

Mary Thomas won’t miss the fundraisers.

“I would much prefer asking for a contribution than sell overpriced items or multiple sales,” she said.

She also likes the fact that her son Larson, 8, was involved in a healthy activity while helping the PTO.

“Larson was excited. He likes anything out of the norm - definitely with activities - moving, running, jumping,” she said.

Due to the financial success the school will not have a spring fundraiser, Paci said.

The PTO will probably make the Race for Education an annual event to be held in the fall, she said.

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