West Paris school to hold Pumpkin Run
Kids are training and organizers planning for the Oct. 20 West Paris Pumpkin Run, an event the Parent Teacher Organization hopes will become a significant fundraiser for the Agnes Gray School.
The event is a 5K race, mile walk and 1-mile Fun Run. “First and foremost, we hope to work with children and their families to get active and participate in the race,” said PTO member Joanna Brown. "Secondly, we hope to get financial support from the community so this event becomes a major fundraiser.”
The Agnes Gray School serves approximately 90-100 pre-K-4 local children from West Paris.
The PTO is responsible for raising money for many school events, especially as state and federal funding become smaller, Brown said. “Field trips for each grade, classroom library books, and even winter clothes for children in need are just some of the ways we help benefit our children’s education experience.”
In the past, the PTO has organized many different activities to raise money, she said.
“The principle fundraiser has typically asked families to sell various items to support the school. In this approach, parents buy an item to support the school, but only a small portion of the money actually goes to the PTO. With the Pumpkin Run, we are hoping to change the model. Our goal is to get enough sponsorship so that every dollar participants spend will go to the school. Also, we are not asking children to sell anything - instead we are coordinating a health and exercise initiative along with fundraising.”
In preparation for the run, AGS students have been doing training runs, Brown said.
Some have been working up from jogging to running in physical education class.
And, said Brown, “The teachers who participate in the SPARK program are using the time to run laps around their field.”
The SPARK curriculum promotes short bursts of highly active activity, including running, between academic activities to promote focus and productivity in the classroom, she said.
“All of these efforts have been going on since the beginning of September,” said Brown.
Brown said area businesses have been very supportive, providing both funds and supplies.
In another phase of the Oct. 20 event, there will be a chili and pumpkin pie cook-off lunch after the run. “Runners and their families are welcome to stay for a delicious lunch,” said Brown.
Registration can be complete online at www.BACK40TIMING.com; in person at the Agnes Gray School on Main Street; or on site at the school beginning at 9 a.m. The events begin at 10 a.m. The cost is $10 for the 5K, $5 for the Fun Run and $20 for a family package.