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Increasingly, school groups are raising funds to meet needs created by school budget cuts. Money raised bolsters the learning environment for students by helping to outfit learning labs, maintain computerized equipment and buy hand sanitizer, tissues and cleaning wipes, among other needs. It also might be used to provide a fun meal for staff, something that can go a long way towards boosting staff morale.

Two community’s schools are giving a unique fundraising experience a try this fall in hopes of not only raising funds but also to encouraging character development, focusing on fitness and building school spirit.

Black Mountain Primary and Elementary schools and partnering with Boosterthon for a nine-day program that began with a kickoff pep rally on Sept. 8. Led by Boosterthon staff, students are taking part in daily character lessons whose themes include such traits as integrity, honesty and caring.

As part of the program, kids are encouraged to collect small pledges from friends and family. The program culminates with a big event, a school wide Fun Run on Sept. 17, where every student will participate by either running or walking, regardless of whether they collect pledges.

Funds raised for these two schools will bolster PTO funds for staff appreciation events and instructional material and support.

Among other things the money will pay for are technology updates at the elementary school and exercise initiatives at both schools, according to Teresa Elder, schools event coordinator and parent of two students.

“Boosterthon is a great program that raises funds by inspiring students through a remarkable fitness and character-building experience,” she said. “This year’s theme is Big World Recess; it’s a global fitness theme all about building character through sports. Students will ‘travel’ the world learning how to play with more character from kids in other cultures.”

Community members interested in taking part are invited to make a pledge of any amount to a student at Black Mountain Primary or Elementary. Contact the schools for information (Primary is 669-2926, Elementary is 669-5217). The community is invited to come out to watch the Fun Run the morning of Sept. 17 as well.

Other schools will also be fundraising to help the year get off to a successful start. You may see Owen Middle student selling cookie dough products or selling chocolate bars for athletics program.

At Owen Middle, PTO funds raised from the cookie dough sale will be used to support teachers and staff, said Missy Harrin, PTO leader and parent.

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