Potter Elementary holds first-ever fun run

Apr 8, 2019

Thursday at the Potter Elementary School was anything but a regular school day.

Music thumped across the grounds as groups of chattering children in purple shirts—some jumping up and down with excitement—lined up class after class to run laps in support of their school.

Potter Elementary held its first-ever fun run fundraiser on April 4, and according to principal Heidi Brooks, the event was a huge success. Kids were running, walking, and throwing cups of water over their heads as their parents cheered them on with plastic clappers.

Games like red light/green light kept the atmosphere festive. During the weeklong run-up to the fun run, the school set several goals for its students.

Challenges included getting at least 80 percent of students to participate, receiving donations from all 50 states, and raising $10,000.

At first Brooks thought these goals were high.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “We didn’t want to set up the kids to fail.”

PTO president Kerrie Parsons agreed.

“We were a little nervous,” she commented. “But it’s been great!”

The day exceeded their wildest expectations, with total donations of $18,000 from all 50 states and every child running with their class.

“We’re over the moon,” the principal said, adding that the fun run was not all about money. “It’s about showing school spirit, supporting the school, and just having fun.”

Each year Boosterthon — the organization that helps schools all over the country hold these events — selects a theme for the runs.

This year’s theme was “Mindspark”, with a week of activities focused on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Students also learned character-building through daily topics like integrity, citizenship, and teamwork.

Parsons particularly liked integrity day, where children learned to “do the right thing even when nobody’s looking.”

“They’re trying to instill good characteristics in the students,” she said.

She also commended Boosterthon New England’s Program Leader Zephry Wright, who stayed in residence at the school for a week.

“Zephry has brought so much positive energy,” she noted. “We’re sad to see him go.”

For his part, Wright felt the same. “Packing up and leaving is always the hardest part,” he said.

Julia Yurovitsky has both a first and a fifth-grader at the school, and said that they talked about the fun run constantly.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” she said. “Kids are having a lot of fun...they’re very excited, and [they’ve been] anticipating it, talking about it a lot. It’s a great way to collect money for the school.. So it’s awesome. And it’s so much fun.”

Silly string rounded off the celebrations, as kids were given canisters of the colorful goop to aim at Zephry—a reward for getting donations from all 50 states.

But the final group of runners got a special treat.

Instead of Zephry—who had already been hit twice before—they were allowed to target Principal Brooks and Assistant Principal Richard Porter.

Fifth grader Max Rodriguez was one of the students chosen to silly-string the authority figures.

“I got Zephry in the face, and then sprayed both teachers. I mean principals,” Rodriguez said. “70 laps in, you know, my legs are tired. But it’s fun to silly string our principal.”