By Marianne Mueller, REPORTER

Students at Whitman Post Elementary, Rockton Grade School and Stephen Mack Middle School came together in a show of strong support for their School Districts during the 2016 Rockton PTO Fun Run. The event, which happened on Friday, Sept. 30, involved staff members, students and some of the parents who joined in the running or opted to also participate in dancing to the beat of a DJ. “We had beautiful weather and it was such a positive community event,” said Whitman Post Elementary School Principal Megan Forsythe. All 1,500 Students went to work collecting pledges resulting in a total of $27,830 being raised. Every year the money is used toward offsetting teacher requests, field trip costs and upgrading technology.

Gavin Herron, kindergartner at RGS, Reeve Franklin, 5th grader at WPES and Avril Franklin, 7th grader at SMMS emerged as the top fundraising students. Brother and sister Avril and Reeve Franklin were two of the school’s top fundraisers. Each weighed in on the Fun Run Experience. “I like the Fun Run because it is both fun and helpful. It keeps kids motivated to exercise,” said Avril. “I love the fun run; it is such an exciting day,” said Reeve.

The Top classes at each school were RGS: Mrs. Kubat’s kindergarten class, WPES: Mr. Bigwood’s fifth grade class and SMMS: Mrs. Hoffland’s seventh grade class. Different incentives made the challenge of bringing in the most money more fun, along with the knowledge of helping others. As a follow-up on an incentive and to challenge students to meet their Fun Run goal pledges, Principals from two of the schools took special action. Whitman Post Elementary School Principal Megan Forsythe and Rockton Grade School Principal Kindyl Etnyre camped out on the roof top of Rockton Grade School the evening of Oct. 19. Both remained in these spots until the next morning. Each came equipped with necessities. “Along with our tent and sleeping gear, we each brought a lantern and a book to read. We also ordered some pizza and had some fun with getting the delivery boy to hoist the box up to us,” said Principal Forsythe. “Around 11:30 that night, we realized just how cold the night was getting and broke down and grabbed a space heater and an extension cord. We managed to survive the night.” Many special visitors stopped by to visit both Principals, bringing usable items that were sent up to the rooftop via use of a bucket and rope. “Parents and students brought us hand warmers, hot chocolate, s’mores and Pop Tarts. Additionally Girl Scouts brought us Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. In the morning, we received coffee and donuts,” shares Forsythe. “These were all such thoughtful gifts.”  “The rooftop camp out was a first for Rockton,” said Forsythe. “The Principals were challenged by our PTO at the assembly to kick off the event. To keep things interesting, we will have something different each year; next year we may ask the students for their ideas.”

COURTESY PHOTO - The Herald. Fourth and Fifth grade students at Rockton Grade School enjoyed a friendly competition at the 2016 Rockton PTO Fun Run.

Fourth and Fifth grade students at Rockton Grade School enjoyed a friendly competition at the 2016 Rockton PTO Fun Run.

The timing of the camp out didn’t work with the middle school Principals’ schedules so they are coming up with a different plan. All are promised that more fun is ahead in the Rockton School District!

“We were amazed by all of the staff, parents and students who came by to visit us; and probably to make sure that we were still up there,” said Forsythe. “The camp out was cold, wet, and all worth it when seeing the students’ faces light up as they arrived to school the next morning and saw us still up on the roof, drinking our coffee. Rockton is a truly exceptional community that supports our schools and gives our children memorable experiences.” Students, staff and the community teamed up to go the extra mile to assure expansion of future educational opportunities in the Rockton School District!

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