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Elementary schools throughout the district raise money through physical activity

COURTESY PHOTO: ALANA KENT - The Raccoon Run helps River Grove students learn to set and reach their goals.Elementary schools across the district took advantage of the last few days of sun by holding jog-a-thons and fun runs to raise money for the schools' Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs).

PTOs organize and pay for supplemental education and activities including art literacy, technology support, school garden, maker spaces, annual scientist and artist in-residence programs, classroom furniture and field trips.

River Grove Elementary held its annual Raccoon Run Oct. 1, followed by Hallinan Elementary's Jog-a-thon and Walk and Bike to School Day Oct. 2. Participants in both events received reusable water bottles and t-shirts commemorating the event. At Hallinan, students raised money by class, with the highest earners raising over $3,000.COURTESY PHOTO: ALANA KENT - Students stay hydrated while running laps for River Grove.

On Oct. 15, Hallinan students will learn which class earned the most money, and that class will earn a pizza party. There are also prizes for most laps run by each boy/girl in each class, and each student that gathers at least $200 in pledges will attend a special party with principal Melissa Griffiths.

Hallinan students also had an additional new incentive this year: a raffle. Runners earned raffle tickets based on the number of Jog-a-thon pledges they asked for and secured. Raffle prizes were given out in the weeks leading up to the Jog-a-thon and included certificates to many local establishments, including Menchies, Nola Doughnuts, Lake Theater, Burgerville, Starbucks, Aji Tram, Baskin-Robbins, Amazon and Target. Other prizes were Hallinan t-shirts, Student Store money, Golf Lessons at Lake Oswego Public Golf Course and mystery giveaways.

At River Grove, students were cheered on to complete more laps by the school's beloved mascot Reggie the Raccoon. Parent volunteers share the role of Reggie to ensure his energy stays up throughout the day.

River Grove PTO fundraising coordinator Courtney Reeves said her favorite part about the Raccoon Run is that it brings the students to the forefront of fundraising. "It's so fun to get the kids involved in the fundraising efforts, because it really is all about them. COURTESY PHOTO: ALANA KENT - Students of all ages participated in the River Grove Raccoon Run Tuesday.

Most fundraising is done by parents outside of school, so this is a nice change," she said. "Parents want to see their kids work hard and work toward a goal. This is a great opportunity for that."

Reeves said that she appreciates students putting in the extra effort to fundraise, because the money raised goes right back to them.

"The funds are distributed by the PTO, mostly in the form of experiences for students, whether that be art literacy, STEM or field trips," she said. "This event funds all of those things. The more money that is raised, the more experiences for the kids."


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