Boosterthon Fun Run

The Boosterthon School That Circled the Globe

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Did you know when Boosterthon is on campus, the world gets a little smaller? It’s true. Instead of just asking parents to carry the majority of fund raising, through funrun.com parents can ask for a pledge from their old college roommate who now lives in England, or their second cousin who works for a Japanese business. Amazingly, 72% of all Boosterthon pledges come from sponsors who aren’t parents, but are still connected to local schools here in the U.S.

And there’s one Boosterthon school that may know this power better than any other—and it started with our “50 State Challenge.”

Like most Boosterthon schools, Round Top Elementary in Blythewood, SC, a quaint town, took our challenge to get pledges from all 50 states. And it’s not always easy (there’s always pesky South Dakota and elusive Idaho). Not only did this school with just 566 students get pledges from all 50 states, but they also got pledges from . . . are you ready? 36 countries. 36!IMG_5385

So, how did a small South Carolina elementary school in a town of just over 2,000 people get pledges from all over the world? I spoke with Principal Jeaneen Tucker, and she said it was due to “the incredible enthusiasm from our school community to help our school.”

Here’s how Round Top Elementary circled the globe:

Enthusiasm. From the Rock’n Town Live decorations to all the support shown from faculty, staff and the PTO, Round Top Elementary couldn’t wait for the Boosterthon team to arrive!

Reminders. Mrs. Tucker said the Team huddles, daily announcements, and school social media posts encouraged her students to take action, and before she knew it, families were helping their school far beyond her expectations.

Asking, “Who else do we know?” 3% of Round Top students have international parents. So, getting pledges from France, Iran, Morocco, Korea, and Mexico meant reaching out to other family members through our “share” function on funrun.com. One family, who used to live in the United Arab Emirates while the father was stationed in the U.S. Air Force, connected with longtime friends from overseas, receiving pledges from over 20 countries!
Round TopGenerous sponsors from all 50 states and 36 countries will help Round Top make upgrades to their facilities and playground. For our schools with big dreams to improve student education, it’s nice to know that large tasks can become a little smaller and a lot more fun.

What a joy to see people from all walks of life and all areas of the world join together to help Round Top Elementary accomplish their goal! Congratulations! Think you can top it next year?

Curious what 36 countries supported Round Top? (Try to say them all in one breath)

The United States, South Africa, South Korea, Panama, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Germany, Italy, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, China, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Japan, Ethiopia, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Oman, Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Luxembourg, Philippines, Costa Rica, Palestinian Territory, United Arab Emirates, Colombia, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Austria, India, Vietnam, and France.

Teacher Appreciation Day . . . Six Months Early!

Boosterthon loves teachers. We get the opportunity to watch teachers impact their students every day. They can’t be thanked enough for what they do for the next generation. And that’s why, when we get the chance, we love hiring teachers; they can make THE BEST Boosterthon team members. They’re sharp, caring, and extremely hard working. (You knew that though).

With many to choose from, we’d like to celebrate four teachers who are now influencing schools as Boosterthon team members—a “Teacher Appreciation Day” . . . six months early.

Taylor Fiske, Program Assistant, Charlotte, NC.

TaylorTaylor was a fourth grade teacher at Davidson Elementary in Charlotte, NC, when Boosterthon came to her campus. “I had the opportunity to experience first-hand how transformative the program can be for a school,” Taylor said. She taught for another year before applying to Boosterthon and is now a Program Assistant on our Charlotte Team. “I am so excited to be part of an organization that aligns with so many of my passions and that exists to strengthen schools.


Coby Rossen, Program Director, Atlanta, GA.

cobyBefore working with Boosterthon, Coby worked in the school system for 7 years. He started out by developing and leading an after-school program and then taught 3 years of Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade PE. He says, “As a teacher, you look for those rare opportunities to teach your students what it means to be a person of character, but those moments are often few and far between. With Boosterthon, I get to do that all day every day!”

 

Matt Deedrick, Program Leader, South Florida.

Image-5726572-220139272-2-WebSmall_0_edda6d783965c6b198a46c97193879aa_1After receiving a Masters of Science from Fordham University in Teaching with an emphasis on special education, Matt went on to teach 6th-8th grade social studies. “I wanted to stay in education, but I knew I wasn’t meant to be in the classroom,” said Matt. “With Boosterthon, I love that I get the chance to come alongside teachers and students, who need to be supported.”

 

Jessica Fowler, Home Office Program Director, Atlanta, GA.

40cb6.146241For 6 years, Jessica taught 5th grade reading and writing at Powdersville Elementary in Greenville, SC. She heard about Boosterthon when the program first came to her school. Jessica says, “Having seen the program from both sides now (3 years as a Boosterthon teacher and 2 as a team member), I can honestly say that we offer the most transformative school program out there! I joined Boosterthon to help Change the World, and I firmly believe we are doing that each and every day.”

 

These are just a few of the many Boosterthon team members who have been teachers or have educational experience—from our teams serving schools to our Home Office. They add so much value to our program and we’re proud to have them on our team!

And “thank you” teachers for how you selflessly lead our next generation.

Hey, surprise your teacher with a “Teacher Appreciation Day” SIX MONTHS EARLY!’

Is Boosterthon All-Inclusive? What About Special Needs Students?

One of the top reasons schools enjoy the Boosterthon is the fact that it’s “all-inclusive”—inviting all students to participate. But is it really all-inclusive? What about children with special needs? Can they still enjoy the Boosterthon Fun Run event?

1920535_817033795014876_1815993895901276481_nI spoke with Brenda Page, a Boosterthon parent, who was a little apprehensive about her special needs son participating in our program at Little River Elementary in Woodstock, GA.

Brenda’s 10-year-old son, Christopher, was born with Down Syndrome. He also suffers from a heart murmur and low muscle tone, so you can understand why she was uneasy with our fitness-based fundraiser.

She just could not picture her son running laps like all of the other students. And even if Christopher did participate, there was no way he could complete the goal of 30 laps around the Boosterthon Speedway. She wondered if Boosterthon would even be prepared to accommodate students with special needs.

1074797_10200572901355997_1505786724_oBut putting her concerns aside, she decided to make up her mind after witnessing the Fun Run event for herself. And this is what she experienced:

“Was I ever in for an amazing shock! Christopher and all of his buddies with special needs, even some in wheelchairs, were having the time of their lives!” she said. “I received amazing joy watching them all have a blast running, playing, and enjoying the party-like atmosphere.”

And Christopher hit the lap goal, running 30 laps with a smile on his face the entire time. He has the shirt to prove it.

Brenda said that not only was the Boosterthon Fun Run a fun fitness activity for Christopher and his friends, but the money raised through Boosterthon provided special needs resources for his class that had been overlooked due to budget cuts.

Little River Elem was able to purchase a class “therapeutic” swing, which helps calm and soothe students who become over stimulated and struggle to cope with their current environment. Plus, they were able to purchase new teaching materials that are not covered by government funds.

With her initial questions behind her, Ms. Page says she is proud to fully embrace the Boosterthon program and support Christopher and his classmates!


 

 We’re so proud of all our students. Meet another outstanding Boosterthon student, Dominic, who ran 14 laps despite having a rare genetic disorder, Hunter’s Syndrome.

Way to go, Dominic! 

 

Leukemia, You’ve Met Your Match. Meet #RyanStrong

Ryanstrong -

Ryan Watson is your average 13-year-old. He plays baseball and runs track, is the only child to two loving parents, and can often be found in the school science lab studying his favorite subject.

But recently, Ryan’s life took a dramatic turn. He felt tired, had headaches, and began suffering from a low-grade fever. Though these were all symptoms of chronic sinus infections, which he experienced often, this time something felt different. After 9 days of constant fever, he was taken to the ER. It was there that Ryan was diagnosed with Leukemia.

In utter shock, his parents had to try and grasp what was happening to their son. There was a flood of emotions, unanswered questions, and an unknown journey they were about to face.

It just so happened that the Boosterthon Fun Run was at his school, Challenger K8 in Spring Hill, FL, the Monday he was diagnosed. Ryan participated in the Boosterthon Fun Run two years previously, so he knew all about the energy and excitement Boosterthon brought to his school.

Unfortunately, Ryan’s diagnosis was a few days before the Fun Run, and he wouldn’t be able to participate, but he and his family still experienced something magical.

Little did Ryan know, everyone at Challenger K8 had a little something up their sleeves—and it all happened the week of the Boosterthon.

First, students dedicated the entire Boosterthon program to Ryan and decorated signs and posters to hang throughout the school. Next, for leukemia awareness, Ryan’s classmates wore orange ribbons during the Fun Run—adding pops of orange among the red, white, and blue Speedway. And for their finale, they all gathered at the end of the Fun Run and released orange powder into a giant cloud while chanting, “Ryan Strong! Ryan Strong!” IMG_4698

Boosterthon Program Leader, Christine Larsen, was there to witness everything. “It was moving to see his peers and faculty come together. They showed how the community was #RyanStrong. It was a great day to celebrate the school and Ryan.”

“We were completely overwhelmed,” said Ryan’s mother. “We had heard they were going to be doing something, but we were so caught up with caring for Ryan, that we didn’t think too much. I later went on Facebook and saw the video…Wow! Our hearts swelled with joy and we couldn’t believe that this was all for Ryan. It was quite touching!”

With a three-and-a-half year recovery time, Ryan will fight Leukemia with ongoing tests and treatments. Though they have a big journey ahead, Ryan and his family say the love and support from the community has been amazing for their spirits. Ryan’s mom expresses, “The school and the community have been amazingly supportive, kind and giving. We are truly blessed.”

The Boosterthon team was honored to be able to support Ryan alongside his school, and watch how a community can rally around one person to lift him up.

Ryan, we look forward to hearing positive reports throughout your recovery.

We’re all behind you. #RyanStrong.

If you’d like the opportunity to support Ryan, Click HERE

Read more inspiring stories of Boosterthon students who have faced challenges with strength and courage:

 

Why Boosterthon Is A Tradition

0F9822D1-00870B2F 2Boosterthon has served Birnham Woods Elementary in Spring, TX, for six consecutive years. I spoke to their principal, Dr. Christine Butler, to discuss the tradition they’ve created in having Boosterthon at their school year after year. Dr. Butler explains, “Both Birnham Woods Elementary and Boosterthon value the same positive traits in people and in groups. Boosterthon supports the same character traits we aim to teach our students, but in a different format.”

The school community’s level of involvement is used as a guide to how well the program helps build the school’s family culture. Dr. Butler explains, “ I love the opportunity Boosterthon provides to involve so many parents and all of our students.” She is constantly encouraged by the parents’ enthusiasm for the program, whether it’s helping with the pre-program decorations or volunteering at the Fun Run.

Not only do the parents get excited, but the all-inclusive nature of the program also celebrates the family culture at BWE. She adds, “With the expectation that all students will participate in the program and the Fun Run, we are able to involve every student and every family.”image

In addition to staff members, students and their parents, the Boosterthon team becomes a part of the family at BWE. Dr. Butler says, “After the Fun Run is over, it’s great to have visits from the Boosterthon team throughout the year- it’s like reuniting with family you haven’t seen in awhile!” She explains how great it is to hear updates on the Boosterthon team members that have previously served as well as those who will serve her school. “I enjoy hearing about where they are now in the company as well as meeting and welcoming new Boosterthon team members to our campus.”

image 2For Dr. Butler and BWE, the success gained over the past six years is the reason Boosterthon is the only fundraiser they host each year. “There’s nothing else like it,” she says. “The staff is dedicated, positive, and professional, and they consistently bring a positive attitude to our campus. Boosterthon is far more than a fundraiser; it’s an experience!”

We’re excited to celebrate six years serving Birnham Woods, but discover how being a 10-year Boosterthon partner can impact your campus.


“Yes, I Actually Wanted To Be This When I Grew Up”

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Imagine you’re in elementary school and your teacher has just asked what you want to be when you grow up. You smile inside as your mind goes straight to the moment you saw that “really cool grown-up” and you couldn’t wait to be just like him or her! For you, maybe it was your dentist because having no cavities meant a trip to the goody box. Or maybe it was your piano teacher who never failed to make you feel like a musical prodigy. It could have even been your basketball coach who always made your team feel like a family. Whatever person came to mind, you were determined to be that cool once you were old enough!

IMG_8083 And just this thing happened at Riverside Elementary in Suwanee, GA, for a girl named Jordan Watson. Along with her classmates and teachers, she was sitting in the gym anticipating a new program that just arrived on campus—the Boosterthon Fun Run. When the music started and the Boosterthon team entered the gym, the entire team became her “really cool grown-ups.” With every Pep Rally cheer and theme song dance, she was experiencing that childhood role model moment and couldn’t wait to be as cool as them one day.

One of Jordan’s favorite memories of the Boosterthon experience was her rather creative approach to earning pledges. She explained, “I dressed up in an oversized red business suit complete with shoulder pads, and asked for pledges to a room full of my mom’s Mary Kay clients.” The ladies were impressed by her presentation skills. (I wonder if public speaking will come in handy one day . . .)

From Pep Rallies, hula-hoop contests, and the Fun Run, the entire Boosterthon experience was one she looked forward to year after year. Before moving up to high school, she was able to participate in three Boosterthon programs and still had the hope of one day becoming a Boosterthon team member.

So, if you’re wondering what came of Jordan’s childhood “cool grown-up” dream, let me introduce you to “Jazzy Jordan,” an official Boosterthon team member in Atlanta. She’ll serve dozens of schools this year and has a special perspective.

Having been in the shoes of all our students, Jordan knows how important her role is in their lives. Not only does she get to show each child how to make healthy choices, but she also gets to teach character lessons that will positively influence them as they grow up. “I remember how it felt to sit in a crowd of kids watching fun grown-ups be excited and inspire me to have fun, help my school and serve others,” Jordan explains. “Now, I love the fact that I get the opportunity to grab the attention of a new generation and inspire them!”

To all the children who look up to her the way she looked up to the Boosterthon team years before, Jordan challenges them with these words: “You are a light to those around you! You have the power to make people smile; use your powers!”

Fun Fact: Guess who ran the Boosterthon programs while Jordan was in elementary school? None other than our very own founder and president, Chris Carneal, who is pictured with her above during her first Boosterthon Fun Run this year! 

We’re so proud of all of our team members. Learn more about them HERE. 

Tour The All-New HeroSteps Website

HeroSteps Home

We’re excited to announce that HeroSteps, a sister-company of Boosterthon, just launched their website! The team at HeroSteps creates dynamic school character themes for the digital generation, and has been doing so for the past 6 years. Now, the all-new brand has a home at HeroSteps.com. We’re excited for non-Boosterthon partner schools to experience the high-quality, fun character themes that our schools receive for FREE and look forward to year after year.

Check out highlights from the NEW HeroSteps website.

WHAT WE CREATE


WHY WE CREATE IT


STARTER KIT


HOW IT WORKS


Raving Fans

We’re excited for the future of HeroSteps! So, support great character programs and “Like” HeroSteps on Facebook.

And visit the HeroSteps Store to add to your school’s Rock’n Town Live experience with heroic resources designed for the digital generation.

Interview with a Dragon: Boosterthon School Breathes Community into its First Year


One of the most highly anticipated moments of a new school year is reuniting with your school community. Saying hi to last year’s teachers and high-fiving friends gives you the feeling that you’re a part of something! But, what if you’re a brand new school that has to build community from the ground up? That’s the challenge Doby’s Bridge Elementary in Fort Mill, SC, (home of the Dragons) had to face as they started their inaugural school year. With students and teachers pieced together from different elementary schools, this year’s Rock’n Town Live theme all about community was a perfect fit! I caught up with Donna Jackley, a member of the PTO, to hear if the Boosterthon program had an impact on their growing school identity.

Q: How did Doby’s Bridge welcome students and families to a first-year school?

A: The PTO decorated key focal points in our new building with a mix of Welcome Back & Rock’n Town Live messages. We wanted to get our community excited about a new school, new school year, AND all the great energy Boosterthon brings to schools.

Q: Did the Boosterthon team help jumpstart the feeling of community within your school?

A: The excellent team led by Dan Powell, along with Tiger Tim, TRex Taylor and Ana Banana, immediately understood the unique aspects of launching the program in the beginning of the school year at a brand new school. They gave tremendous energy as DJs at our Welcome Back Picnic just before the first day of school, and they did an excellent job working with our entire DBES team to build community through the program.

Blog pic 1Q: Throughout the week, how did you see community within the classrooms?

A: Each day during the team huddles, you could see how excited the students were to be a part of their classroom community. They created fun classroom names decided by student vote and worked together to earn pledges for their class and teachers.

Q: So, your students and teachers are building a community; did parents join in too?

A: Families came out to cheer at our Pep Rally and showed overwhelming support at our Fun Run. I have never seen so many parents show up to a run! They responded strongly to our fundraiser, but more importantly, they showed support for their students and our school by actively participating in Rock’n Town Live.

Nothing says community like a customized golf cart for your elementary school!

Q: Do you think the feeling of community established at the beginning of the school year will continue throughout?

A: We received so many comments about the great time parents had at the event – how much they enjoyed the music, the excitement and energy! Great things will happen at DBES this year, and kicking off with Rock’n Town Live has set the stage for excellence in character and community!

It looks like Doby’s Bridge Elementary is off to a great start! We can’t wait to build on the foundation they’ve already set at next year’s Boosterthon program.

Boosterthon Teachers: How To Make Your Class Name “Rock”

Each year, Boosterthon teachers create a team nickname for their class. It helps set the week apart, makes our program more exciting, and unites classes together under a new, voted name. Sometimes the names rhyme, sometimes they use alliteration (“Peter’s Penguins”) and sometimes they’re just plain wacky (“Jensen’s Jabberwocky Raisins”).

But this year’s Rock’n Town Live theme, teachers have started a new trend in class naming: they’re basing them off REAL band names.

Here are a few rock’n class nicknames we’ve seen (band name translations provided):

RHCP

“Red Hot Chili Peppers”

Counting Crutes

“Counting Crows”

Snoop

“Snoop Doggy Dogg”

Black Eyed Peas

“Well, um . . . ‘The Black Eyed Peas‘”

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“The Beatles”

So, Boosterthon teachers, if you create a fun, rock-infused class name, we’d love to hear it! Simply post a picture on our Facebook page. Thanks for being such a big part of the fun during our program.

To get you started, check out . . . Ultimate List of Band Names.

Boosterthon Schools . . . Meet the HeroSteps Hero Pack!

HeroSteps-HeroPack

For 5 years Boosterthon’s given our teachers a free resource to help make our character themes come alive for their students. But instead of delivering our classic children’s books this year, we dreamed up a classroom resource that would fully integrate into classroom teaching, yet still have storytelling magic. We would include fun videos, music, writing and games for students, while crafting it to fulfill national educational standards and easy use for teachers.

IMG_8454So, what is the Hero Pack?

It’s an uplifting character program that fits in a backpack pocket. Students watch interactive music and character videos and respond to fun, challenging questions. Each video goes along with HeroSteps’s newest school theme, ROCK’N TOWN LIVE, a music festival theme all about COMMUNITY. The Hero Pack allows students to listen, laugh, sing, jot and reflect on character content that feels like entertainment but has a positive twist.

Teachers simply play a video or a song to kick-start or wind down the school day with these energizing character activities. When students complete the workbook, they’ll fulfill five grade-level national education standards. Teachers can select activities at random, or they can follow the schedule to extend the Hero Pack into a full three-week character program.

What’s Inside?

  • 7 music videos
  • 5 community challenges
  • Music album
  • 24-paged student workbook
  • 5 BoostFit kid videos

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Teacher Review

“I was in awe of your ability to teach character ed in such a cool way that kids understood! Your messages are right on for your target audience . . . even a 6-year-old completely got the messages and thought they were cool!”

- Sonia Parker, Gifted Teacher, Hampton Cove Elementary (Huntsville, AL)

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So, why the upgrade? Like with everything, Booster constantly re-imagines what is possible. That’s why we invented our new HeroSteps brand, which would take our character themes to heroic levels, impacting more students.

And that’s our favorite thing to do–whether it’s through a fun fundraising program, a high-five, or a character program.

Love character? Then, “Like” HeroSteps on Facebook to get the latest news on school themes today’s students love.

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Did you know when Boosterthon is on campus, the world gets a little smaller? It’s true. Instead of just asking parents to carry the majority of fund raising, through funrun.com parents can ask for a pledge from their old college ...

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