Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

May 13, 2010

Walk-A-Thon raises funds for Polson elementary schools

By B.L. Azure

Smiling faces were very prevalent among the nearly 700 Linderman and Cherry Valley elementary school Walk-A-Thon. (B.L. Azure photo)
Smiling faces were very prevalent among the nearly 700 Linderman and Cherry Valley elementary school Walk-A-Thon. (B.L. Azure photo)

POLSON — Who can drown out the sounds of “These Boots Are Made For Walking” or “Walk This Way” blaring from an outdoor public address system? Hundreds of enthusiastic elementary students from Linderman and Cherry Valley elementary schools - that’s who. They can make Nancy Sinatra and Steve Tyler sound utterly demure, a tad whispery in comparison.

On Friday 692 Kindergarten through fourth grade students from Linderman and Cherry Valley elementary schools participated in the annual Linderman Elementary School Mighty Milers Walk-A-Thon fundraiser. Add to that number, school system staffers as well as parents and/or guardians and the count nears 800.

It wasn't all walking at the Linderman Mighty Milers Walk-A-Thon as these children demonstrate in this game resembling musical chairs. (B.L. Azure photo)
It wasn't all walking at the Linderman Mighty Milers Walk-A-Thon as these children demonstrate in this game resembling musical chairs. (B.L. Azure photo)

The fundraising event sponsored by the Polson Parent Teacher Organization is the only one they do throughout the school year, said Catherine Young, PTO spokesperson. “It takes several months of preparation to make this happen,” she said, adding that the work is never done. “We will be counting money for a couple of weeks after this then we’ll look forward to next year.”

Prior to the Walk-A-Thon, students gather monetary pledges from people based upon how many miles they walk. The money collected is then passed on to the elementary schools to be used for purposes they deem necessary. A portion is kept by the Polson PTO to sponsor Walk-A-Thon activities in the schools and to prepare for the upcoming Walk-A-Thon.

“We work in cahoots with the administration to see what’s on their wish list, what they need,” Young said.

Jace Pierre and his buddy Kaitlyn take a breather in the pirate ship during the Walk-A-Thon. (B.L. Azure photo)
Jace Pierre and his buddy Kaitlyn take a breather in the pirate ship during the Walk-A-Thon. (B.L. Azure photo)

Last school year the Walk-A-Thon raised $12,000 and the year prior to that $18,000 was raised. Last year the PTO funded the purchase playground equipment for Cherry Valley. This year they’ll fund a Smart Screen board, an interactive touch screen blackboard for Linderman.

But the Walk-A-Thon is much more than hardware purchases for the schools. It seeks to promote the value of active lifestyles and the ensuing value of good health.

“We want to promote healthy living and healthy choices among the students,” Young said. “Every kid from Linderman and Cherry Valley participates whether they raised pledges or not.”

Once the final tally of pledges is done (May 21) the class with the most money raised will get to have a pizza party and the class with the most laps will get a popcorn party.

“This is so much fun. The kids look forward to this. I do too,” Young said. “I always look forward to this.”

The water pit stop was very a very popular watering hole for the children in the Walk-A-Thon. (B.L. Azure photo)
The water pit stop was very a very popular watering hole for the children in the Walk-A-Thon. (B.L. Azure photo)

And so do the students. “This is fun. I did it last year,” said 9-year-old Linderman third grader Jace Pierre, adding that he can hardly wait until next year rolls around so he can walk around the walking path at Linderman one last time. “This is a good experience. I like doing this and I’ll miss this when I’m in the fifth grade.”

The Walk-A-Thon program originated in the State of New York with the New York Rod Runners. It began small then went regionally then went nationally. It is a free program that assists schools and other entities promote better health.

One of the missions of the New York Road Runners is to, according to NYRR spokesperson Laura Paulus, promote healthy lifestyles among youth in an effort to reduce childhood obesity and diabetes.

Paulus said the Linderman Elementary School is the only school in Montana participating in the Mighty Milers program. She would like to see more in the state.

The elementary students in the Walk-A-Thon had to design and make class-team T-shirts. (B.L. Azure photo)
The elementary students in the Walk-A-Thon had to design and make class-team T-shirts. (B.L. Azure photo)

The New York Road Runners is the foremost running organization in the world; it sponsors the ING New York City Marathon. The NYRR fulfills its youth services mission by establishing running based programs that promote children’s physical fitness, character development and personal achievement in under served communities.

For more information on the free Mighty Milers program, contact Laura Paulus, NYRR Youth Program media contact, at 646-241-3527 or by email at: lpaulus@nyrr.org.

The website is: www.nyrrf.org

Advertise with us!
Share
submit to reddit
('DiggThis’)
Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious