By Kate Tobiasson, Contributing Writer
Westborough – The Elsie A. Hastings Elementary School in Westborough will launch a new fundraising event – the “Fun Run” – from April 1-10, with the culminating run happening on Wednesday, April 10, in the Hastings gym.
“We were looking for a fundraiser to better support enrichment programs at Hastings,” explained Interim Principal Julia Horowitz. “We have the Winter Festival, but as time has passed, this event has lost some of the financial steam that it had.
“We are excited about the fitness and character education element that accompanies this fundraiser. There is a great mission behind the fundraiser, both in the financial support that it can provide our students and in the community that we hope it builds.”
The start of the Fun Run will launch with a presentation led by the Fun Run Team, discussing the fundraising goal. Students will be encouraged to collect pledges for each lap that they run around the gym on the final day’s run. April 2-9 feature a character trait that is showcased in a video shown to kids in their classroom to encourage a discussion about building community. The Fun Run Team, who is on school campus throughout the 10 days, visits each classroom where they run a character lesson and encourage pledging. This work builds anticipation, generates pledges, and helps to develop a sense of community in the school.
“Pledges can donate a dollar per lap that the child runs, or they can donate a lump sum of any amount. It is really flexible – it is up to families and how they do it. We’re focusing on cooperation and collaboration, and less on competition,” said Horowitz. “Within each class they have ‘pledge-o-meters’ and the teacher can set pledge goals – like if we get $10 worth of pledges today, tomorrow can be silly sock day. The whole class is working together to reach a goal, so that even if there are financial differences among students, it becomes a whole class activity.”
This sense of community is important to Horowitz, who is working to unite the school and bring in as many programs as possible for students. Money raised during the Fun Run will support enrichment events like the SkyLab for first-graders, or the engineering program and field trip to Plymouth Plantation for third-graders. Additionally, the school is working to make the building appear more child-friendly and whimsical, especially at the entrance.
The highlight of the event is April 10.
“The Fun Run Team comes in and sets up a glow-in-the-dark course in the gym,” Horowitz said. “The kids will all have white t-shirts that we have had donated from local business sponsors, and the shirts will glow from the lamps. The kids will also all get glow sticks. Half the grade will run, and then half of the kids will be cheerleaders. While they’re running, the kids will pass through a tent where teachers mark off the number of laps they’ve run on their t-shirts. Then the kids will switch so that everyone runs.”
To donate to the Fun Run, reach out to your favorite Hastings student, or email Principal Julia Horowitz at [email protected].