Young Greencastle-Antrim students will jog to raise money for their schools

— By PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
First-grade teacher William Doll and other primary school teachers rev up the students for the kickoff of Race to Education.

Say goodbye to little cherubs coming to the front door, thrusting an order form into your hands, asking you to buy candy or pizza or cookie dough. Farewell to finding order blanks in the workplace lounge, strategically placed by parents helping their children fundraise for Greencastle-Antrim elementary or primary schools.

The G-AES/PS PTO is trying another tack to fill its coffers. The money goes back to the schools for programs and educational needs.

"People are tired of purchasing things," said Brittny Paci, PTO vice president. "They would like to make a direct donation to the schools."

Noticing that merchandise sales had dropped somewhat in recent years, the PTO learned about a different initiative. They held pep rallies for the children Thursday morning to introduce them to Race for Education. Other schools had successfully used the format to raise money for activities and events not covered by traditional educational funding. Locally, the PTO sponsors field trips, assemblies, author visits, classroom grants, and other needs they believe enrich the learning experience for the 1,300 children in grades K-5.

"Our goal is that this is our one and only fundraiser," said Paci. "We went through our finances and realized this could cover all our expenses."

With the support of the administration and faculty, the PTO is hosting Race for Education. On Oct. 19 the youngsters will participate in a Jog-a-Thon at the high school track for one hour. The goal is to raise $50,000 through sponsors. The students will bring home a paper for their parents to fill out, listing names and addresses of potential donors. The PTO will then mail by first class each person a letter explaining their need for and appreciation of any monetary contribution.

The biggest expenditure of this fundraiser is the postage. To help the effort, the Greencastle Post Office has a box placed at the counter to collect donations of books of stamps, or donations for stamps to help defray the cost of postage.

Race for Education was started in 1996 by a former principal who understood the financial challenges facing schools. The effort has been utilized by 1,500 schools in 40 states since then.

Race for Education was started in 1996 by a former principal who understood the financial challenges facing schools. The effort has been utilized by 1,500 schools in 40 states since then.

The students were given various incentives to return a list of names, but the top one brought a special round of cheers. If they achieve the monetary goal, primary principal Angela Singer, elementary principal Chad Stover, and assistant principal Kevin Carley will paint themselves blue and gold.

As part of the rally, Blue Devil mascot Blue was present, and members of the high school marching band performed rousing numbers.