SPRING HILL — In a land where there is no snow, students can still think about it — especially when it's for a good cause.
That was the case recently at Westside Elementary School, where students participated in a Snowball Fun Run to raise money for the school's positive behavior support program.
Students collected donations from friends and relatives to sponsor them running, walking skipping or jogging. The top fundraiser's prize was four tickets to Buccaneer Bay at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
And there was added incentive to get sponsors. The top two winners at each grade level won a trip around the bus loop in a rolling chair pushed by the school's principal or assistant principal. The highest fundraising class at each grade level was also rewarded.
Westside students can earn PAWS points ("Participating positively, Always using good manners, We listen to and follow all adult direction, Showing our respect to all people"), which can be spent at the PAWS store.
Besides buying things in the store, students can earn PAWS time, which can be free time to talk, draw on the sidewalk or play with Hula Hoops. Students not earning enough PAWS points for free time are encouraged to do better next time — to have "PAWS-itive" behavior.
"Students help other students," said assistant principal Joyce Lewis. "We've seen a lot of positive effects coming from it. It's a program in progress."
The PAWS program is in its fourth year at the school.