Queen Anne Elementary student Tilly Pratt gets a checkmark from volunteer Rachel Moskal for completing a lap at the Jog-A-Thon. Moskal was also at the event to support her fourth-grade son, Stewart, and second-grade son, Oliver.
Queen Anne Elementary student Tilly Pratt gets a checkmark from volunteer Rachel Moskal for completing a lap at the Jog-A-Thon. Moskal was also at the event to support her fourth-grade son, Stewart, and second-grade son, Oliver.
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Hundreds of  students raced through the parking lot of John Marshall School for Queen Anne Elementary’s annual Jog-A-Thon fundraising event onThursday, Oct. 11.

Three different age-based groups, ranging from kindergarten through fifth grade, took part in the student-driven fundraiser, with the goal of running or walking as many laps as they could in a set amount of time.

The Jog-A-Thon has been a longstanding Queen Anne Elementary tradition, though this year it took place at the school’s interim site of John Marshall while the permanent elementary school building is undergoing renovations.

Attending his fifth Jog-A-Thon, Queen Anne PTSA president Ian Stewart said the fundraising goal for this year’s event was set at $30,000. Those dollars go toward PTSA-sponsored volunteer programs, funding a few staffing positions, and other community involvement events.

“But for us, it’s not about the money as it is about getting the kids involved in the school,” said Stewart, who had his fourth-grade daughter, Emerson, and first-grade daughter, Karenna, taking part in the event. “They all set their own goal about how many laps they’re gonna do, so for us, it’s about helping them goal-set, and then what does it take to meet that goal. This fundraiser is about getting the kids involved, so this is their way to sort of find a way to contribute to what’s happening with the school.”

Queen Anne Elementary principal Janine Roy said the children’s goal-setting was particularly important for the kids, because it not only allowed them to celebrate their achievements, but also practice setting goals for their learning.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to build our community and build our culture, because we’re all working together to achieve a common goal,” Roy said. “So every child sets a personal goal, but it’s all about all of us working together to help each other out and celebrate our school community.”

Stewart noted that fundraising events like Thursday’s Jog-A-Thon are still necessary because education funding for school operations are inequitable across the district. While state lawmakers were found this year to have fully funded education by the state Supreme Court, the need for more funding remains. Last month, facing a potential staff cut at Queen Anne Elementary, the Queen Anne PTSA agreed to fund a portion of a full-time equivalent staffer, so the school could keep its reading specialist. Along with some creative thinking and staff-led maneuvering, the cut was avoided.

Stewart said he hopes funding can eventually be less of a focus at events like the Jog-A-Thon.

“Hopefully, in coming years this can be all about the fun,” he said.