(MITCHELL) - What do field trips, parties, T-shirts, cookies, Christmas shopping, educational supplies and tokens of teacher appreciation all have in common?
Krystal Shetler of the Times-Mail reports that the answer is the Burris-Hatfield Room Parents Organization - the parent group charged with not only paying for the annual field trips for elementary students in Mitchell, but many other often-unseen activities in the elementary schools.
And for the first time ever, the RPO volunteers will stage a 5K run and/or walk on July 28 at 8 a.m. in Mitchell to boost its fundraising efforts.
In a typical year, the RPO only has one fundraiser, the annual fall sale of gift products. The money used from that single sale goes to fund all the programs offered by the RPO and usually averages about $25,000.
"We sell the yearbooks and host the Santa Shop, and we could use those as fundraisers, except we try not to, opting instead for those to be used mostly as a service to the kids," said Heidi Myers, new president of the RPO for the coming school year.
But this year, money is needed to fund the planned fall field trips, such as the fourth-grade trip to the Lincoln Boyhood Home, which take place before the annual fundraiser is complete.
The Mitchell schools are among the few local schools that still allow field trips for the students, but all of those field trips are paid for exclusively by the money raised by the RPO, which makes fundraisers crucial to the organization.
"Even the free field trips, we pay the gas for the bus and for the driver," Myers said. "The kids love taking the field trips, and we'd really like to see them continue. There is so much required of the kids, in terms of learning and testing, it's nice to be able to give them this one break which, of course, is educational too."
The cost to enter the 5K is $20 per person. Each per-registered runner or walker will receive a T-shirt. Pre-registration is due by July 16. The event will follow the Persimmon 5K course, starting and ending in front of Mitchell High School. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. the day of the race.
To help sponsor the race, the cost is $50 and the name of the individual or business will be put on the back of the race T-shirts.
"We're really hoping for a good turnout," Myers said. "This is an event that promotes wellness and togetherness, and it's a good way for parents and the community to get involved and help out the students and the schools."
To register or to pledge a sponsorship, call Lucinda Fletcher at 278-4082 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of the registration form.
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