Today was payday, jeans and tennis shoes, and a fundraiser. Our Royal Walk has students collecting pledges for the distance walked in an hour. Students get a mark on a card for every half lap they walk on the track during their time slot. Grade levels have to be assigned time slots because we have over 600 students K-5. Teachers and staff walk for pledges, too, since we also benefit from the proceeds.
The fifth grade walks with our kindergarten buddies. This works well because the older kids encourage the little ones to keep walking. Music plays over the PA system at the track, setting a steady beat. It is so touching to see tough fifth grade boys helping to tie dangling shoelaces, or grab a hand of a struggling little one to keep them moving. Most students do a mix of walking and running. Water stops are scheduled twice during the hour. Students encourage each other to keep moving, challenging them to go one lap more. Fifth graders averaged 2 to 3 miles apiece.
Upon finishing, all are treated to a Popsicle. Students collect their donations, and then prizes are delivered. We raised close to $20,000 the first year of the walk, slightly less each succeeding year, but enough to replace most of two playgrounds. Our proceeds from this year's walk will go toward library renovations, including shelving, a portable iPad lab, and some kindles or nooks. This is a lofty goal, so it will take two years to see it to completion.