The Greencastle-Antrim Primary and Elementary PTO organized the event to eliminate the need for a fall and spring fundraiser this year, according to PTO Vice President Brittny Paci.
In the past, the PTO has conducted product-based fundraisers, but Paci said sales have spiraled downward.
“Our profits were declining. We weren’t able to provide the field trips and assemblies that we like to do as a PTO,” Paci said.
Paci said $50,000 is the goal for Greencastle’s Race for Education in order to provide a field trip for every grade level.
“We provide classroom grants to the teachers, assemblies, author visits to the entire school and we provide educationally-based purchases that are needed throughout the two buildings,” Paci said. If the goal isn’t met, Paci said another product-based fundraiser will be considered in the spring.
“Our goal is to make this is our one and only fundraiser so we don’t have to ask the parents for money or have to sell anything for the rest of the year. But, we do need to make the $50,000 to make that happen,” Paci said.
The PTO conducted a survey and more than 80 percent of the respondents said they would rather give a direct donation than do a product-based sale.
The group brainstormed and contacted Race for Education in Dillsburg, Pa.
Race for Education is an annual jog-a-thon that involves students walking or jogging around a designated area for one hour. Race for Education programs have been conducted in more than 1,500 schools in 40 states since the company’s founding in 1996, according to the website.
“Our response is much bigger than we anticipated — it has been tremendous,” Paci said.
With 1,300 students in both schools, primary school Principal Angie Singer is optimistic about meeting the $50,000 goal.
“I’m very confident we’ll reach our goal,” Singer said. “And we have some very energetic participants.”
So far, the PTO has compiled a list of 14,000 potential sponsors.
A mailing went out to all the potential sponsors on Friday, Paci said.
She said $6,000 was spent on stamps for the mass mailing — $3,000 was donated and the remainder came from PTO funds.
For a solid week, volunteers worked on folding the mailer and placing postage on it, Paci said.
The children included a personal message in the mailer.
Students in grades two and three will participate from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m.; grades one and four will participate from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. and kindergarten and fifth will participate from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.
“We’re hoping this will be a really fun community event,” Paci said. “Parents, grandparents, friends and family are welcome to come and watch the children run and jog on Oct. 19.”
For Singer, the Race for Education is a win-win for everyone involved.
“Not only are the students helping raise money, they are engaging in a healthy activity,” Singer said.