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Murray Journal

Parents cheer Woodstock Elementary students at fun run

Nov 11, 2019 04:01PM ● By Julie Slama

And they’re off – Woodstock Elementary students race around the school to help raise funds for the school. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

By his junior year at Utah State, Emon Williams had lettered in both indoor and outdoor track and in the 400, he had run a 49.8 and a 1:55.5 in the 800. But that was years ago, and on Oct. 1, Williams wasn’t running, but cheering on his kindergartner, Isaiah, in his first fun run at Woodstock Elementary.

“He’s fast, he’s a speed demon,” said Williams, who received a track scholarship to attend USU from Elk Grove, California. “I was fast in elementary when I ran in my school’s fun run, too. Isaiah and my girls (second-grader Emmery and fourth-grader Mayah) all play soccer and are athletic.” 

Woodstock’s fun run serves as a fundraiser for the school and students can collect donations in a set amount or per the quarter-mile lap they complete around the school building. Isaiah, who was on his 12th lap, and his sisters, are fortunate as Williams said his children’s grandma contributes. 

Parent Ashley Putnam cheered on her kindergartner Gaia Sams a lap, before joining her circling the school.

“If we raise enough money, the principal will sleep on the roof,” she said. “My daughter is excited about that.”

Principal Brenda Byres, who estimates she ran about six miles with the students, said the fundraising goal was set at $10,000 and if students raised the amount, then she promised them she would sleep on the school roof — and students could vote for a faculty member to join her.

“We may broadcast on FaceTime so students can communicate with me and the next morning, we’ll have an assembly, so they can see me as if I were camping, with leaves and twigs in my hair,” she said. 

At the assembly, other incentive prizes, such as 25 students randomly selected, will walk with the principal to nearby Woody’s for lunch.

“The money from the fundraiser we use for student incentives, field trips, technology, end of the year rewards,” she said. “We want to add in more hands-on, interactive learning in a STEM lab, making it more inquiry-based learning.”

Already, the school has started a FIRST Lego robotics team afterschool as well as a coding club.

Parent Dad White appreciates the funds that go toward computers and technology. His daughter, kindergartener Lily Sullivan, is on a permit to attend the school.

“She’s smart, an early reader, so I like what they’re doing with the money and that they’re encouraging activity to raise the money,” he said. “I gave her pointers to run slow and steady, but she’s athletic. She plays soccer and does karate and already, she’s past the goal we set.”

That meant White would be giving more money to the school as he pledged $2 per lap.

“That’s OK,” he said. “It’s worth it.”