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Murray Journal

Grant students break rules for school fundraiser

Jan 27, 2017 03:53PM ● By Julie Slama

Grant Elementary will hold a “Yes Day!” to students who pay to break the rules as part of school fundraiser. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

If students want to break rules, Grant Elementary administration is saying “yes.”


“Yes Day!” is the school-wide fundraiser set for Friday, March 3 and a chance for students and their families to make a financial contribution to the school in trade for opportunities students usually are denied, such as running in the hall, having a food fight, chewing gum and wearing pajamas to school. 


Several supervised activities are pre-set with costs ranging from $1 to $5 to “break the rules and allow every student to participate,” Principal Matt Nelson said.


“It’s a fun way to raise funds and it’s one day out of the ordinary that is memorable,” he said.  “Everything is predetermined.  It’s the only day students can do these activities and it raises funds that directly benefit the kids.”


With a goal of $4,000, the funds are earmarked to purchase non-fiction texts so that students can read and use them for resources.  Nelson said that the non-fiction purchases could include subscription to National Geographic Kids Explorer, Time Magazine for Kids, Scope magazine and others.


“We have a lot of fiction and literature in our library, but we have a lack of resources when it comes to non-fiction.  So this fundraiser is set to support the students’ exposure to non-fiction,” Nelson said.


Nelson said that while Grant Elementary’s math scores on standardized testing have steadily increased in recent years, the language arts exam scores have been “flat.” 


“A lot of our testing is on non-fiction so we’re hoping to give our students more exposure to it, have more repeated practice reading articles and drawing conclusions, to help improve our understanding,” he said.


He said that during the week leading up to March 3, students can bring in donations and select what grade-level activities they may like to participate in, such as doing origami, riding a scooter on the black top, having an extra recess or bringing a stuffed animal.  Teachers keep track of the money and activities.  On Friday, students are given a bookmark with the activities they selected and teachers mark those off after they participate.


“Some of our students do extra chores so they could donate more to participate in additional activities,” he said.


“Yes Day!” also will include assemblies from the Utah Opera and Utah Ballet.


This is the second year they have done the “Yes Day!” fundraiser.  Last year, the school raised $3,500.


“We had teachers who thought it was fun and wanted to participate so we included activities they could choose,” he said.


Nelson said the fundraising idea came from Longview Principal Chad Sanders, who brought it to Murray School District from another school district.  Longview has held the fundraiser several years, with this fall raising about $7,000. 


In addition to similar activities, some highlights at Longview included throwing a pie at student council members, attending a magician show and getting a picture taken in a photo booth.