I absolute loathe fundraisers, although I know there is no way to avoid them in schools. With constant budget cuts in school funding, fundraisers are a necessary evil. However, every time you turn around, parents are asked to buy festival tickets, discount cards, coupon books, candles, Santa Secret Shop trinkets or books. As much as I love Scholastic Book Fairs and festivals, all the other stuff is just senseless junk.
To be constantly barraged by fundraising is unfair, relentless and honestly a bit elitist. To assume that families budget for school fundraisers or have any extra cash on hand outside of their household spending is wishful thinking. Most families live paycheck to paycheck and (God forbid) one detrimental health accident away from being penniless.
That’s why I love Boosterthon and was thrilled to see it return to my kids’ school this year. There is no cookie dough to sell. You don’t need to dine at an unhealthy restaurant to earn money for your school. Simply put, Boosterthon is an organized fun run with so many benefits.
Four Reasons to Support Boosterthon
Let’s be real for a moment. With rigorous testing schedules and limited recess, schools aren’t as fun as they once were when we were kids. Remember chasing your friends, climbing on the jungle gym and slipping down tall metal slides for a good half hour? Nowadays, recess is often limited to 15 minutes, when students have it, because many times, recess is the first activity to be cut from the school day.
Kids today do not have the downtime they once had. Recess is often taken away as a form of punishment for not finishing work or bad behavior. Research shows that much like adults, kids need a break from work to increase productivity and to improve cognitivity.
Boosterthon allows kids to be kids in an organized fun run way. Kids blow off steam by just being silly and running small laps. While running laps may not sound like fun for the non-athletic type, the high energy, festive dance party atmosphere of a Boosterthon creates an event that is fun for everyone, runners and non-runners. It’s a blow-off-steam Field Day Fun Run for students and teachers.
Promotes Healthy Living
Kids are spending more and more time playing online rather playing outdoors. Boosterthon helps kids push away the screen by forcing them outdoors. Although it is labeled a fun run, kids do not have to be runners to participate. Whether they walk or run at lightning speed, all students are encouraged to participate at their own pace. Boosterthon gets kids moving in a healthy way and in a positive, safe setting.
The fact that every child participates is what I love most about Boosterthon. There are no tiered fundraising goals, just one collective goal for the entire school. Sure, there are incentives, but the kids are more focused on having fun rather than cheap trinkets.
The students have no idea who raised what, only how much the school raised collectively. Everyone participates in the run and every student receives a Boosterthon t-shirt regardless of how much or how little they raise.
Because there is no individual focus on fundraising, the objective of Boosterthon helps build a collective goal. During the week prior to the fun run, classes form “Team Huddles” and pep rallies for character education. Then, the teachers and students work together to create a team name and that team name becomes how the class is announced onto the field the day of the fun run. To demonstrate their team spirit, each class even designs a banner to carry on the day of the fun run.
Through friend laps, kids walk arm in arm with a buddy to show support for one another. If a child accidentally trips on the course, students are reminded to help a classmate up and encourage the fallen student to keep on going. Families are encouraged to cheer their children on as they run and join in for the final walking cool down lap.
On the day of the fun run, the teachers make tally marks on the back of the students’ shirts for each lap, which gives the fast runners a prideful moment for earning the most laps, however, the number of laps only matters to the sponsor as the sponsors pays per lap. But since all kids participate, the fast kid may earn the title of most laps ran but may not earn the most money.
Even though fundraisers are all about the Benjamins, Boosterthon focuses more on letting kids be kids through an organized fun run.
And that is perfect.