At Laurel Valley Elementary, $2718 was raised through a fundraiser during which elementary school students From Kindergarten through fifth grade completed math problems to earn money for their school.
The Parent Teacher Organization benefitted through an increase in their budget, and the students got a great opportunity to practice their skills.
“I think it’s a beneficial fundraiser because number one, it’s education,” said Chris Hopper, PTO president. “It’s not just going and begging for money. It’s not peddling products. It’s using the greatest resource we have, and that’s our kids.”
In the fall, R.K. Mellon Elementary School held the same fundraiser, raising $6,800. The idea was suggested by Principal Ed Moran, Hopper said.
“It’s a way of engaging kids and parents in an educational activity outside of school. I think that’s why it was so successful,” Moran said. “I think it’s a great value to our community as a whole. The success of it is going to benefit the school community overall.”
Hopper and other PTO members decided to take a chance on the math-a-thon as their spring fundraiser, instead of the usual catalog sale.
“There wasn’t the dealing with companies, deliveries, pick-ups for items, no taking the sheets that they ordered everything on,” he said. “It was a lot less labor.”
Teachers distributed 30 questions to students in each grade level, Hopper said. During Easter weekend, students asked friends, family and neighbors for pledges on either a per-correct-question rate or a flat donation.
“We banked on these kids and their ability to do math, and we banked on these teachers and their ability to teach math,” Hopper said.
Of the 230 students at the school, 72 participated, Hopper said. Approximately 94 percent of participants got perfect scores, he said.