Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. Students ran through the start arch at the Nederland Elementary School soccer field last week in an assortment of positions. Some were leaning forward, trying to go as fast as they could at the start. Some walked jauntily, knowing they could keep the pace. Groups of girls held hands, matching steps.
The Second Annual NES Jonathan, which replaces the former Spell-a-thon as the school’s largest fundraiser, was organized by the NES PTA and the scheduled date happened to land on a perfect Nederland fall day. Kids could frolic in shorts and t-shirts.
Danielle Petrovich, organizer of the event, says that last year, the event raised over $11,000 and this year’s goal is $10,000 but she expects they will exceed that goal.
The money that the kids raise will go to support Outdoor Education, Winter Adventure Days, NES’s most popular programs, designed to make the most of our environment.
Donations are made on line and parents get to come and help the event go smoothly. Although the rewards of running over soft grass on an October day are obvious, the class with the most student fundraiser participants get an ice cream sandwich party sponsored by the PTA.
Other rewards include the student who raised the most money will become the Principal for the Day and hang out with Ms. Reckert. Final results will be calculated through October 12.
An All-School Reward will be a wacky week celebration with wacky hair options, opposite/mismatch and twin day.
This year’s Jonathan featured an obstacle course in the middle of the track: a fence to climb and leap from, a balancing bar, hoops to crawl through and plenty of space to just twirl like an aspen leaf or bounce like ball on the turf.
One of the students finished the 15-minute stretch, in which time all the students had to do was keep moving, and said, “Last year, I was tireder than I am today.”
Third grade Rylan Goho said, “I am faster than I was last year. Next year I am going to do the same thing, but faster.”
Speed wasn’t on everyone’s mind. Maxine Toorenburg, a third graders, said, “I enjoy to jog because I like to stay with my friends. We did about 20 laps. I run a lot for fun, but I also like to get fitter and fitter.”
NES principal Lauren Reckert joined the action. “It is so much fun to run with the kids. Look at this beautiful setting, look at James Peak through the starting arch. There is a mama and baby moose behind the school and another one bedding down by my house. These kids so much love the outdoors. Running with the special needs kids warms my heart.”
She and third grader Oscar Shrum jogged together, lap after lap. Oscar wore his “I Am Ned” t-shirt.
(Originally published in the October 12, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)