Contributed by Andrea Bates for Cider Mill School PTA
It was a sunny and chilly 50 degrees here on Wednesday morning, October 9, as 1100 students and staff from Cider Mill School walked to the Wilton High School track for the 4th Annual Walkathon. The Walkathon is Cider Mill’s only fundraiser for the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and this year raised $39,000, beating the goal set by Nicola Davies, PTA Fundraising Chair, who ran the event.
The students ignored the cold and streamed onto the track. Music filled the air as everyone danced to songs like “Get Lucky,” “Best Song Ever,” and of course, “Walking on Sunshine.” Walking on Sunshine was the theme of the event, exemplified by the free t-shirt given to students who turned in pledges before September 20. Cider Mill held a contest last spring to determine a design for the t-shirt, and then third-grader Jenna Kirincich won with her design of children holding hands around the sun. Music master Hillary Morrissy also made sure to play the new hit song “The Fox” by Ylvis.
In the weeks leading up to the Walkathon, students gathered pledges from friends and family. According to Davies, 90% of students participated, submitting pledge forms by October 4. No amount was too small, as the main goal for the PTA was to get every student involved. The funds will be used for the PTA Gifts and Grants program.
Cider Mill teachers apply to the Gifts and Grants program for support for specific and varied projects. Last year, funds went to enhance programs like Visiting Author Days and science curricula, and to improve learning tools with technology.
After the event, Davies said how happy she was to see all the students dancing and singing, having a great time, “It is wonderful how everyone - students, staff and parents - takes the Walkathon to heart and gives it their all. Its success is due to a true community of effort, from the administration, to the art teachers, the Student Activity Group, to the parents. I hope the children take away happy memories and realize the power that they have to do good and have fun at the same time.”
PTA President Lisa Smith agreed, saying “It’s a fantastic way for the kids to be rewarded for their fundraising efforts. This is a fun activity that really brings the whole school community, kids and administration together. And of course, the kids love to see their teachers and Principals dancing along the track with them.”