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School Hosts Inaugural Junior High Color Run
Rainbow Rams
Running through a pink cloud of color, students at Oakdale Junior High had four different color stations to enjoy during their inaugural Color Run on Friday. Marg Jackson/The leader

Oakdale Junior High proved to be the most colorful OJUSD campus this past Friday, as the student body participated in an inaugural Color Run, hosted by the OHS Parent Teacher Club.

“Mr. Webb had the idea and asked if it would be possible,” PTC President Sarah Nelson said of the school principal. “I told him anything is possible. I researched it. I figured all we would need was a really good plan and some color.”

The ‘color’ amounted to 850 pounds of colored powder at four different stations. Due to the minimum day schedule, the students were released in waves to take off for their color run around the perimeter of the school. Colors at the varying stations were green, red, blue and yellow.

According to Nelson approximately 160 of the students did not participate, from lack of interest or permission slips.

“Eighth grade is a tough sell,” Nelson said of the inaugural fundraiser event and introducing it to the student body. “They were a little unsure. We had an amazing seventh grade response. Towards the end (the final week), we had an amazing response in general.”

The first time fundraiser earned the PTC well over $10,000, the president shared, noting that money was still being collected and counted earlier this week.

“The idea of the Color Run was fostered by our teachers last year to foster community connections and strengthen family ties to the site,” Principal Webb said of the vision. “That we continue to build opportunities for parent involvement because true student success at OJHS has parents and family in the equation.”

It’s a mission which Nelson confirmed was accomplished as parents and staff volunteered to work the color stations, help with set-up, clean up or just attended to watch.

“We’ll alter the timing for next year,” Nelson said of staggering the classes. “We had such great parent volunteers that the release wasn’t too big of a problem. Next year we’ll do it earlier in the school year and still aim for a minimum day.”

Similar to the elementary school Jog-a-thon, students were required to raise a minimum amount to receive a T-shirt and pair of sunglasses; the glasses worn during the run to keep the ‘color’ from their eyes. Prizes were awarded to those collecting larger sums of money.

The goal set for the first time was $30,000, one which looking back Nelson stated, “We went big. I think next year $30,000 is a realistic goal. We went big this year, but next year it’s definitely doable.”

“I feel for its first year, the Color Run was a success and huge potential for next year,” Webb echoed. “By success, I mean that students had a great time and were rewarded for working so hard this semester in their studies.

“I want to thank this year’s PTC and parents for all their hard work and making the event happen,” Webb continued, noting the support of the community and family sponsors equally for the event success. “Lastly, I want to thank our superintendent Marc Malone, who inspires our district leadership to provide the best product and educational environment for our community and town.”