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Draper Journal

Channing Hall students run for fitness, future playground equipment

Sep 03, 2022 12:34PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

After spotting superhero posters around their school, about 535 Channing Hall students laced up their running shoes to “Find the Hero within” as they ran laps around their playing field—382 miles total—to earn money for a future playground at the school.

Annually, the fun run’s funds are used to improve the school in a way identified by the parent organization, said Annette Mumford, Channing Hall Parent-Teacher Organization 2022-23 president.

“We raised just over $40,000 and that includes with the fundraising by the students and sponsors that we got,” she said. “We're planning on saving those funds, and then with the funds from the fun run this (school) year, we're going to combine them together to put in a brand new entire school playground at the school. That is going to cost us somewhere between $90,000 to $100,000.”

Mumford said the idea for the new playground came from the students.

“Parents heard comments from the kids, especially the ones that are a little bit older, wishing that they had stuff to play on. It needs to be updated. We want to give kids a playground with more activities that will be for all age groups and ways for kids to exercise, like with a rope course, where they use all muscles in their body,” she said, adding that the PTO is working with Lucky Dog Recreation on the design of the new playground.

Currently, the same playground is being used as the students played on when the school opened in 2006.

Through the school’s fun run, the parent organization has helped the school purchase computers, security cameras and equipment, netting around the playing field, nutritional resources, physical education equipment, tobacco prevention materials and more.

This past May’s fun run, which was organized by committee chairs Alex Wong, Michelle Brinkerhoff and Rachel Martinez, divided the students into three teams. Each of the three teams had kindergartners through eighth-grade students and each team wore a different color school fun run T-shirt, which was designed by students Brady Castle and Lily Andrews.

Each grade warmed up to a deejay, then they stretched and did jumping jacks. Before they ran, another grade came out to cheer them on while stretching before their run. Faculty joined in running and parents cheered on the runners.

While each students received a granola bar donated from Harmons, along with bananas and water from the PTO, the winning team—the red T-shirt team—received Popsicles after the fun run. 

There also were overall school incentives, such as a dance party, a doughnut party and free dress days (Channing Hall students wear uniforms). In addition, top fundraising classes could earn an outdoor breakfast and Silly String party and top fundraising individuals could earn free dress coupons and an invitation to a school Kona Ice party.

“This is our biggest fundraiser,” Mumford said, adding that the organization also holds benefit nights at local restaurants and participates in an annual giving campaign. “We are hoping to plan a few more events this year to bring in additional funds and maybe combine as a community event.”

She said that added funds will help the PTO support annual events such as Veterans’ Day program, teacher appreciation week, middle school talent show, science fair and other activities as well as fundraise for the new playground equipment.