It was a perfect day for a walk, cool and clear, and Moton Elementary School children were able to take advantage of it during their seventh annual "Walk for Pride" last week.
Sponsored by the PTA, the event is the organization's first fundraiser of the school year.
The children walked around the bus loop during their specials periods Friday for about 40 minutes to blaring, upbeat music. Last year, computing the number of students with the amount of walking time, the school tallied a total of 470 walking hours. This year's goal was 490 hours, most likely obtainable because of more students. All grade levels participated, from prekindergarten through fifth-grade.
Students were encouraged to go home and ask parents, friends and relatives to support the walkers. The funds raised, said PTA president Michelle Carter, "will go back to the school."
The money, along with funds from future fundraisers, will be divided among such things as field trips, classroom needs, materials for the Family Center and the school store.
The PTA funds support the "Roaring Readers Program," which allows students to take books home and, if the children write small book reports, they are allowed to keep the books.
The PTA supports the computer lab and puts on a back-to-school breakfast for teachers and the fifth-grade dance.
Fifth-grader Gabe Mangual, 10, liked the idea of not being inside. "People can get out and be free and walk and stuff," he said. "So we're not sitting in class all day doing work."
Allie Zelakowski, 10, also in fifth grade, knew the money benefits the school in some way. She said the reason for the walk was, "We're raising money for our school to make it a better school." But it's also fun. "My favorite part of "Walk For Pride" is walking with my friends," she said.
Fifth-grader Warren Osceola, 11, sees the importance of the walk. "It helps the kids interact with other kids and helps them get the exercise they need." He wasn't quite as sure about where the money goes. "Probably to new books and office supplies for the teachers."
Kathleen Jones, a PTA member, noted that later this year there will be other fundraisers such as a Valentine's Day flower sale and Santa's Secret Shop (not a big fundraiser, but fun for the children).
As for the walk, she said the children are rewarded for their efforts with small prizes, pencils, change purses and magnet clips with the school's leopard paw on them. "Just little things they can get to show school spirit," she said.
Principal Debi Vermette likes the parent involvement and the boost to school spirit the walk delivers. "The students like to be part of the actual fundraising," she said. "And they seem to look forward to it every year."