Sometimes a beautiful sunny day is just too perfect to stay cooped up indoors--even during the school year! On Thursday, May 25 Jones Elementary School students from kindergarten through fifth grade traded their books for snow cones during Jones Elementary School’s annual Walk-A-Thon celebration. The activity-packed day was the perfect way to wrap up another successful school year.
Jones Elementary School’s Walk-A-Thon celebration is its biggest fundraiser of the year for its Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). The fundraiser helps fund the next school year's biggest events like Trunk or Treat and the school’s countless fashion parties. Last year’s fundraising efforts even helped the school purchase a brand new popcorn machine so that they could do popcorn Fridays.
Since its start, the Jones Elementary School Walk-A-Thon has become more than just a fundraiser--it’s become one of the most highly anticipated events of the year.
“All the kids can’t wait for this each year. They always talk about how it’s their favorite time of the year and they run around screaming Happy Walk-A-Thon Day. It’s just a lot of fun,” said Jenna Blech, principal of Jones Elementary School.
The event is especially meaningful because it’s held at the end of the school year after many of the students have finished most of their testing for the year. It’s the perfect way to raise money for the upcoming school year while celebrating the success of the current one.
“The kids always have such a great time. This is a wonderful end-of-year celebration for them because they work so hard. This is the end of a really tough testing time for our students between ILEARN, IREAD, and NWEA testing. There’s just a lot going on for them at the end of the year and this is a nice way to celebrate them finishing up,” said Blech.
This year’s Walk-A-Thon celebration definitely didn’t disappoint. There were tons of neat activities to help the kids burn off some energy and have some much-needed fun. Along with a couple of bounce houses and yard games, the students got to enjoy snow cones, a DJ dance party, and playground time. The kids’ favorite activity was a bubble station where they got to blow enormous bubbles that hung in the air all day long.
Of course, the day wouldn’t have been a Walk-A-Thon without getting to march proudly around the school. Students had a blast running around the schoolyard while enjoying some nutritious snacks provided by Strack & Van Til. Jones Elementary School even held a smaller version of the Walk-A-Thon for the preschool students so they could also participate in the celebration. It was truly touching to see so many kids just enjoying a day in the sun.
“I have been involved with this school pretty much my entire life. My mom taught here for 42 years, I was a student here, and now my daughter is a student here. Jones is near and dear to my heart and to see them do an activity like this for the kids where they can kick back, have fun, and celebrate everything they’ve accomplished is really meaningful,” said Melissa Deavers, Jones Elementary School communications director and parent.
The students ended up raising a remarkable $10,218 for Jones Elementary School’s PTO--a number that blows last year’s fundraising goal out of the park. The celebration of this tremendous feat will continue into the upcoming days. Over 61 students who raised $100 or more will get to play in a gaming truck, the top ten earners of the school will get to take part in a pizza party, and the top earning class will get to play dodgeball with the P.E. teacher and Principal Blech.
Throwing such a wonderful celebration and encouraging the students to get involved and help out their school was ultimately the perfect way to generate school pride.
“It helps the kids feel some pride in their school knowing that they’ve helped and contributed and even just getting to come out and participate in a day like today and have fun helps them celebrate their school and everything they’ve done this school year. I’m super proud of them and my own daughter,” said Deavers.
Looking around at all the smiling faces, it was clear this year’s Walk-A-Thon at Jones Elementary School couldn’t have been a bigger success. The Jones Elementary School team is grateful to everyone who helped make it the best celebration yet. Everyone can’t wait to see what the next school year will have in store.
“I’m incredibly thankful to our PTO. We could not have done this without them--they have been planning this for months and have spent so much time reaching out to community members to help make this possible. They’ve done a wonderful job,” said Blech.
To learn more about Jones Elementary School, visit https://jo.portage.k12.in.us/.