DUNLAP — Concord Ox Bow Elementary School students took part in a fundraiser Friday that didn’t involve going door-to-door selling products.
Instead, they put their best foot forward for the school’s annual Jog-A-Thon.
With upbeat music blaring through the speakers, the K-4 students — many joined by family and staff — jogged as many laps as they could outside the school during their allotted periods for pledges.
The Jog-A-Thon, organized by the parent-teacher organization, served as a culminating event to a fundraiser where donors could either pay a flat amount or sponsor the students by setting an amount for each lap they complete.
For each lap a student completed, they received a bracelet from their teacher or a parent to keep up with the number.
“We have a lot of people who pledge money per lap because it helps motivate the students to run as many laps as they can, which is something we want,” said Kayla Johnson, PTO member.
Johnson said the money from the Jog-A-Thon goes toward items not covered in the school budget, namely supplies for classrooms.
“A lot of times teachers may apply for a teacher grant because they need something for their classroom that would normally come out of their pockets, but with this fundraiser, PTO can help offset those expenses,” she said.
Aside from raising funds, organizers and staff agreed the event teaches students fitness, character, leadership and school pride.
“I think this event shows students that school can still be fun and that we’re not so caught up in academics that we can’t have a day like today,” said Ox Bow Principal Javier Jimenez, who ran with the fourth-grade group giving the students words of encouragement. “The kids can still be kids, help promote some healthy habits and contribute to the common good of the school.”
Best friends Hayden Donoilovic and Jordan Amezquita, both first-graders, enjoyed the competitive nature of the event.
“I wanted to try to run more laps than Jordan,” said Donoilovic, who beat Amezquita by one lap. “We both like to run and running with him makes this day fun.”
Amezquita offered a similar sentiment. “I enjoy this event each year, it teaches you about hard work and dedication.”
Fundraising totals for the Jog-A-Thon won’t be known until next week, Johnson said. Over the last few years, she said, the fundraiser has averaged over $18,000.
The Jog-A-Thon is one of the school’s biggest fundraisers. The other is the Ox Bow Zaar held in the spring.