By Melanie Patterson

The North Jefferson News

Gardendale Elementary is trying its hand at a new type of fund-raiser to continue to improve the school.

On Thursday, the school will host its first Fun Run. The fund-raiser is for a new public-address system for the gym.

Jan Holmes, Gardendale Elementary’s PTA treasurer, said students and teachers have a hard time hearing on the gym’s current PA system.

Holmes said the PTA takes on a large project at the school every year. The parents have raised funds to refurbish the gym’s ceiling and floor and to buy new playground equipment, among other projects.

“They need our help to get these big things,” said Holmes. “We’ve got to get that PA system.”

She said the PTA is currently seeking bids for the system. She does not yet know the cost.

Like at most schools, Gardendale Elementary students and parents are often helping raise money for the school.

The school hosts a fall carnival every year. Also, students sell magazines and other products, with the school getting a percentage of the profits.

There are also money-raising events through the Jefferson County Board of Education and individual groups and clubs.

“We do a lot of different fund-raisers,” Holmes said. “Parents are just being hammered.”

That is why the school is trying the Fun Run this year. Holmes said GES got the idea from Mt. Olive Elementary. Last year, Mt. Olive was the first school in Jefferson County to host a Fun Run.

Boosterthon Fun Run organizes the fund-raisers in schools across the state. Boosterthon officials have said that schools typically raise 100- to 150-percent more money through Fun Runs than through traditional fund-raisers.

The company also does most of the work.

Students raise money by getting pledges of certain dollar amounts per lap that they run.

The Boosterthon program is actually an event that lasts several. People with Boosterthon go to every classroom each day promoting the values respect, encouragement, attitude, character and helping others, to form the acronym REACH.

The company also organizes and facilitates the actual Fun Run.

Holmes said the school keeps 52 percent of all funds raised through the Fun Run.

“Hopefully this will revamp fund-raising,” said Holmes.

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