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Jog-A-Thons Help Fund School Needs
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First and second graders round the track at Magnolia Elementary Schools Jog-a-thon on Oct. 11. All elementary schools in the Oakdale school district held their respective Jog-a-thons the same morning. Dawn M. Henley/The Leader

A stampede, of sorts, began in the morning hours when the signal was given and running students careened around their respective tracks to the beat of music played over loud speakers, in the name of raising money.

The annual Jog-a-thon in Oakdale elementary schools took place on Oct. 11, the biggest fundraiser of the year for each site’s Parent Teacher Clubs. Students raise money for the Jog-a-thons by collecting “sponsors” prior to the event for each lap ran or for a flat donation.

By meeting fundraising goals, the PTCs can fill their coffers in order to pay for special activities and trips for students, and classroom needs, as well as to contribute money toward sixth grade Outdoor Education – things that aren’t covered in school budgets.

Students ran for approximately 30 minutes, and several teachers participated in the running as well. Various incentives, such as seeing Principals endure some sort or “treatment,” and awards to students who are top fundraisers and lap runners, brought excitement to each school site’s event.

At Sierra View Elementary School, there were a couple of goals. The first was to raise $30,000. When that happened, Vice Principal Kathy Pinol let a group of students “do” her hair in any style they wanted. By hitting the $35,000 goal, Principal David Kindred was dressed as a clown by the Shrine Clowns, wearing the clothes and makeup for the day and riding around on a clown tricycle.

“Our Jog-A-Thon was a success; lots of happy children participating,” Kindred said. “We brought in $38,703.”

Magnolia Elementary School’s PTC had a new campaign called “10 for $10” this year, said Principal Julie Minabe. Each student was encouraged to ask 10 people for a $10 pledge. They raised more than $26,000.

At the end of the Magnolia Jog-a-thon, the Modesto Nuts’ Extreme Experience tickets and an annual pass to the Oakdale Plunge prize drawings winners were announced. The classes then enjoyed a round of popsicles and medals were later delivered to classrooms for runners who made special achievements.

Cloverland Elementary School Principal Larry Bonds reported that their target goal was to raise $21,000. If students hit their target, during a spirit assembly that afternoon, they’d “paint” Bonds in front of the entire student body.

“We created a PTC budget and our goal was to fundraise in order to cover our budgeted expenses – we raised over what we had hoped – $36,000 with $6,000 of it going toward sixth grade Outdoor Education,” reported Stacey Aprile, Fair Oaks Elementary School Principal.

Fair Oaks also had a visit from its own Freddie Falcon mascot and the Modesto Nuts mascot, who ran around the track with the students.

Knights Ferry School PTC also held its annual Jog-a-thon on the same day as the Oakdale schools. Their goal this year was to raise $6,000.

“Students walk, skip, jog, or run, around the track to complete as many laps as they can,” said Principal Cheryl Griffiths.”

In Knights Ferry, Griffiths said some of their PTC supported programs include field trips and busses for the trips, ski trips, honor roll and Renaissance program incentives, Outdoor Education, the annual Read-a-thon, sports, classroom curriculum support, technology support, yearbooks at no cost to students, plaques for perfect attendance and GPA of 3.0 and above, scholarships to graduating seniors who attended Knights Ferry, and more.