One school steers clear of selling candy bars, and they’re raising more money than before! Want to learn how to do this in your school?
By Kelsey Rhodes, Physical Education Teacher
At College View Middle School, we no longer use candy bar sales to raise money for our school. Becoming one of America’s Healthiest Schools means that even our fundraisers should align with our school’s healthy mission so that we don’t send students and parents a conflicting message about our commitment to health.
For the past several years, we instead hosted just one annual event that has raised enough money to support our school for the entire year, while reinforcing our healthy standards. This past year, our fundraiser brought in nearly $9,500 – in just one day!
How did we do it?
Our Wacky Walk-a-thon allows students and staff to dress in crazy outfits and walk or jog laps around our outdoor track while listening to music and socializing with their friends. The walk-a-thon has been a hit with the students and staff who participate, and among parents who are thankful to have just one fundraiser to support each year.
Prior to the big event, students collect pledges from friends, family members, coaches, neighbors and whomever else they associate with outside of school. Then, on the day of the walk-a-thon, they use a card to track their progress as they run or walk laps, with volunteers punching their cards each time they complete a lap. For every ten laps, they also receive a water bottle from the concession stand to ensure they stay hydrated in a healthy way.
After the event, students collect their pledges based on how many laps they completed and earn incentives for how much money they raised. For example, if they raise $5, they earn a no homework pass, and if they raise $75, they earn admission to a dance party during the school day ‒ another opportunity for our students to stay active at school. The student who brings in the most money gets a coveted prize: swapping places with the principal for a day!
One of the keys to the fundraiser’s success is that every student, regardless of how much money they have raised, participates in the walk-a-thon. We do this to show students that they don’t have to be a star athlete to be active. We believe anyone can take small steps to lead a more active life, and our annual fundraiser is just one way we’re demonstrating that to our students.
For more information on healthy alternative fundraisers, visit HealthierGeneration.org and join the Healthy Schools Program.