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Case fundraiser to pay for technology improvements

3/21/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

WEST AKRON — The Case Elementary PTA is asking parents, students and area residents to run or walk to support the purchase of technology for the building through its first annual Race for Case.

The Race for Case 5K Run and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk will take place May 4 at 8:30 a.m. for the race and 9 a.m. for the walk. The walk will take place at Case Elementary School, 1393 Westvale Ave. The race will start at the school and continue through the neighborhood.

The event is being organized and co-chaired by three Case staff members — Jen Victor, an intervention specialist for students in kindergarten through second grade; Sarah Core, a Title 1 reading intervention teacher for students in third through fifth grades; and Craig Sampsell, an intervention specialist for students in second through fifth grades. The 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run is designed to raise funds for improvements in technology such as computers, iPads, SMART boards, software, interactive whiteboards, projectors, online subscriptions to educational websites and more, according to Victor.

“We have a school built in 1957 that requires expensive technology because of its age,” said Sampsell. “District officials are scheduled to announce in July when and if it will be rebuilt, but even if a new building is built, it would take three to five years, and that would not include technology items. We are looking at what we can do now.”

Victor said recent reductions in state funding for education due to the economy has forced the district to make some deep cuts.

Sampsell added teachers decided to look for a way to show they were “doing their part to help out as well.”

Victor said educators strategized to find new ways to raise funds to pay for needed items at the school, which houses students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

“We are taking a proactive approach because we can’t wait for the school funding formula to change,” said Victor. “And we wanted something that the whole community could participate in.”

Sampsell said they were influenced by the blue line of the Akron Marathon race that runs by the school and seeing runners in the area to create the Race for Case.

“As individuals, we cannot change class sizes or operating budgets, but we are determined to make a difference by improving what we can,” said Sampsell. “100 percent of the proceeds from this first race will go directly to purchase technology.”

The event is designed not necessarily for top runners, although they are welcome, but for everyone, including students and their families who will benefit from the event, according to Victor.

“We wanted to do something to ensure a positive educational experience and fund a high-quality education that prepares our children for good jobs and careers in the 21st century and beyond,” she added.

Currently, organizers are looking for local sponsors and area runners and walkers to participate in the race or walk.

Available sponsorship levels include: the Spirit ($1,000), which offers the company name and logo included on a number of items and the website, eight free race/walk registrations and race shirts; Friends of Case ($150), which includes the company name placed on race shirts, two free registrations and race shirts; and Extras ($50), which includes signage on the race route, positioning at water stations and the ability to sell items at the finish line.

Donations of food such as fruit, chocolate milk and energy bars for the participants also are needed.

The event will include a post-race celebration with a DJ and various activity stations.

Event fees are $15 for students and $30 for adults, which is discounted to $20 for PTA members for the 5K Race and $10 for the 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk. Whole families are invited to participate.

Registration for the event is available at sites.google.com/site/raceforcase5k

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