Volunteers handed out stickers to keep students motivated as they cycled through the course.
Volunteers handed out stickers to keep students motivated as they cycled through the course.
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A little rain didn’t slow down McGilvra Elementary students as they ran, climbed, leaped and crawled their way around this year’s Move-a-Thon challenge course.

The student-powered fundraiser was halfway toward its $70,000 goal by the start of the Move-a-Thon on Oct. 8, with a majority of funds expected to be received between now and the Oct. 17 deadline, said Shanna Kritser, fundraising committee co-chair for the McGilvra PTA.

This was the second year that an obstacle course was set up for the event, which had formerly only involved running and was aptly called the Run-a-Thon.

“They love it,” said PTA co-president Emily Carmichael. “It’s really fun to come and volunteer at this event. We always get a lot of parents.”

McGilvra students raise funds by going door to door to collect pledges, as well as calling on family members, Carmichael said, but they also get creative. One kindergartener sold baked goods during a soccer game, she said.

Running the obstacle course again this year was Kong Academy founder and CEO Curt Jordan, who said the company provides children with social and emotional learning through the art of movement, including parkour, live-action roleplay (LARP) and circus programming. Through this play children are able to understand their limitations and develop self-awareness, he said.

“It’s growing very rapidly,” Jordan said, “because it’s resonating with what people want and need.”

Kong Academy also provides an after-school program for McGilvra students, which takes place at Madison Park.

“My son loves it,” Carmichael said, “because they’re just jumping on things, climbing on things and learning to work together.”

Students didn’t just have to run an obstacle course. Part of the change from the Run-a-Thon to Move-a-Thon was to make the event more inclusive, Kritser said, which is why students also had the option of meditating or doing yoga inside, which was provided by Colibri Yoga and Mindfulness.

“My son, after 10 minutes, he was done with the noise, so he headed up to the library,” Kritser said.

The Move-a-Thon precedes McGilvra’s Fall Carnival, which is a community celebration that raises funds and food for the Wildcat Food Pantry at the school. The carnival will run from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, and Bert’s Red Apple is the presenting sponsor.

The Move-a-Thon did not have a presenting sponsor this year, and Kritser and Carmichael said they’d love to have one in 2020.

Donations are always accepted at mcgilvra.donortools.com.