2011-12 Local Walk-At-School Success Stories

Lincoln Elementary School, St. Cloud, MN – The Lincoln Elementary annual Lincoln Walk-A-Thon fundraising event involves the entire family.  Lincoln PTA puts together an after school walk-a-thon that includes activities, healthy snacks and music to increase family participation.  Students, K-6th grade, are asked to seek donations from family and friends – depending on how much money each student raises determines the amount of walking they will do.  Family members are encouraged to walk with their student.  The PTA committee provides an array of incentives to boost participation.  In 2011, students raised nearly $3,200 for their school!

Stride Academy Schools, St. Cloud, MN – Stride Academy hosts their BLEND Walk-A-Thon fundraiser in June.  STRIDE Academy is a charter school with two locations in St. Cloud – Stride Academy Middle School (6-8) and Stride Academy Elementary School (K-5).  The “Parent And Teachers Helping Students” (PATHS) group organized the walk-a-thon event to provide a healthy alternative to fundraising and allow students to take part in a neighborhood walking parade along with other fun activities.  PATHS blocks off morning events exclusively for the elementary students while the afternoon events are planned exclusively for the older students.  Teachers join in on the activities, as well.  Staff captured dozens of great photos and before the day was over, students requested this day to be an annual event. BLEND is happy to say Stride Academy exceeded their fundraising goal in 2011 by raising just over $5,000.  Stride Academy is now planning a 5K and 1K Kids Fun Run for the entire school and community.

South Junior High, St. Cloud, MN – September – South Junior High has been implementing their Walkin’ Wildcats Walk-A-Thon fundraiser since 2006.  Then teacher Mary Michaud, the innovator behind the Walk-At-School walk-a-thon fundraising model, was determined to change fundraising practices and come up with something that was profitable, sustainable, and didn’t undermine the student’s health.  Her determination paid off.  Because of its popularity with students and the ability to raise enough money to purchase agenda books for all students and pay for classroom field trips this is the only fundraising event the school schedules.  Organizers block off an entire day for 6th – 8th grade students to walk the school track, participate in physical activity games, and listen to the local radio station. Students are encouraged to gather pledges to participate in the walk and earn incentives.  The more money a student brings in the longer they get to participate in the walk and the potential to win bigger prizes.  This year, students at South JH raised an astounding $36,000 for their school! Check out the Walkin’ Wildcats Walk-A-Thon, click here!

Discovery Elementary School, St. Cloud, MN – The Discovery Elementary PTO organizes the Discovery Dolphins Walk-A-Thon fundraising event for their K-5th grade students.  Discovery Elementary students are asked to collect pledges from family, friends, and neighbors to support annual classroom field trips.  The PTA plans a walk-a-thon event around the school schedule, allowing 50 minutes for each grade to walk around a designated track.  Volunteers encourage all students to walk, skip, dance and have fun.  All students walk the event regardless of how much money is raised.  In addition, every students name is entered to win door prizes after completing the walk. Prizes include sports balls, jump ropes and other physical activity equipment.  Discovery PTO provides additional incentives to students who brought in targeted dollar amount. Prize drawings includes bikes, iPods, Discovery Elementary apparel, and gift certificates donated by community partners and PTO members.  Due to its successes, the PTA only asked students to raise money one time per school year.  Students at Discovery Elementary raised almost $5,000 for their  2012 walk-a-thon fundraiser! Want to see more from the Discovery Dolphins Walk-A-Thon? Click here!

Sacred Heart School, Freeport, MN – Sacred Heart School’s Parent Committee hosts their annual 1K / 5K Fun Run and Walk in the Fall.  In an effort to promote a family-oriented event, organizers deliberately plan the fundraiser on the same day as Freeport’s Oktoberfest Celebration.  Families are encouraged to start the day with a run or walk and then enjoy the rest of the day with a soup/chili cook-off, pedal pull, live music and a polka mass. The committee advertised the event in the local paper, church bulletin, school newsletters, banners and poster throughout the community, and on the internet (Facebook, BLEND, and school site).  More than 220 adults and children participate in the event.  Pre-registration is available through their local Community Education Department.  Same day registration is available on site.  All participants receive a T-shirt and awards were provided for top runners in each age category.  The event raised over $2,500 to purchase new equipment and to support healthy snack choices for the students during the school day. See more form their 1K / 5K by clicking here.  The Sacred Heart School 1K/5K Fun Run and Walk is endorsed by BLEND and included in the 2013 BLEND Fit Kids Club Series Events.

Talahi Elementary School, St. Cloud, MN – The Talahi PTA and school staff plan an all school Talahi Elementary Wolf Walk in the Spring to raise money to purchase school equipment and educational needs.

North Junior High, St. Cloud, MN – Apollo High School Track and Football Field was host to the first annual North Junior High Walk-A-Thon fundraiser on October 19th, 2011.  North JH staff planned the event to raise money to support school activities and the music/band programs. The walk-a-thon started on a very cool fall morning with students walking from the North JH School to Apollo Fields – a little more than a one mile jaunt.  Once there, students could walk the track or take part in one of many activity stations; including flag football, bean bag toss, golf ball toss, jump rope, and kickball.  North staff and volunteers provided a healthy snack and hot chocolate.  The top 35 students to earn the most money received prizes and were recognized for their efforts.  Committee members set a fundraising goal of $10,000.  BLEND is delighted to announce that North JH students raised more than $13,600! Check out their Walk-A-Thon, click here!

Madison Elementary School, St. Cloud, MN – Madison staff, parents and volunteers (PTA) planned a tremendously successful first annual Madison School’s BLEND Walk-A-Thon on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011.  With hopes to match previous years fundraising earnings the goal for this walk-a-thon fundraiser was set at $11,000.  Nervous and uncertain with their goal, the PTA walk-a-thon committee diligently worked to communicate the walk-a-thon throughout the school, the community and with the parents.  The committee promoted the event on the school’s bulletin board, on the school website and newsletters, phone messages from Principal to families, announcements at parent meetings, flyers and collection envelopes in Wednesday Folders, and daily promotion from the music teacher to all students.  A thermometer gauge was created to show students their progress of fundraising.  Incentives were announced and displayed to encourage students to seek donations to win.  Incentives included toys, games, gift cards and high-fives! The committee invited St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, St. Cloud Police Chief Ballantine and local firefighters and soldiers to add excitement to the walk-a-thon event.  It all paid off.  Madison Elementary students raised more than $16,000!

Details of their event: Students in grades preschool through 5th walked during their scheduled “Special Time” (art, music, physical education).  This 50 minute time allowance gave students the chance to walk or run the two required laps around the Pantown Park Field which borders the Madison School.  Once completed, students had the opportunity to play at various active stations, such as pogo sticks, gymnastics, soccer ball kick, jump rope, sprints, hula hoops, limbo and hurdles.  Stations were staffed by 5th grade students and adult volunteer.  Students received a granola bar and water after their 50 minutes was over. See all the fun these kids had, click here!

Annandale High School and Middle School, Annandale, MN – Members of the All Night Grad (ANG) Committee sponsored their first annual ANG Walk-A-Thon event to raise money for All Night Graduation Celebrations (a lock-in aimed at keeping our graduation senior’s safe while they celebrate) and Environmental Learning Center Programs (ELC).  Students in grades 5th – 12th were asked to seek donations from family, friends and neighbors.  The event was held at the Annandale High School track and football field on a Saturday afternoon (October 30th, 2011) just before the community’s big Halloween party at their local Park. In keeping with the spirit of Halloween the committee asked walk-a-thoners to wear a costume.  Fun games (bean-bag-toss and Polish horseshoes) and music were set up to provide more fun for walkers.  Prizes and incentives were awarded to students who brought in donations.  The ANG committee was thankful local businesses supported the incentives.  Flyers and poster were created and posted throughout the community and in the local paper.  The ANG Committee also promoted the event on their website and Facebook page.  In the short two hour event, students raised more than $1,800!

Other local schools looking to plan a Walk-At-School event:

Clearview Elementary, St. Cloud, MN
Westwood Elementary, St. Cloud, MN
Kennedy Community School, St. Joseph, MN