Nov. 18, 2005
A clear, warm November Santa Barbara morning welcomed the almost 500 Isla Vista Elementary School students, their parents, and volunteers Thursday morning as they participated in the 6th annual Jog-A-Thon to help raise money for the school. Beginning at 8am, a total of over 1,000 miles were logged to help reach the goal of raising $30,000 for the school. For the first time as well, members of the UCSB Track & Field team joined in the festivities as they helped count laps, run with them, and encouraged the students as they ran lap after lap on the grass field behind their school.
Going on its 6th year, each grade beginning with the Pre-Schoolers (4 year olds) and ending with the 6th graders (12 year olds) warmed up by taking on some aerobics before taking on the field. With music playing throughout the playground, the students, parents and volunteers all joined as each grade sweated it out over the course of thirty minutes. When all was said and done a 6th grader just edged out a fourth grader for having the most laps run, 29 to 28 or 3.8 miles. A Kindergartner surprisingly got through 22 laps or 2.9 miles. Medals for first, second and third most laps run in each class were handed out to girls and boys in each class.
Last year the event raised approximately $27,000 to help fund various needs. Isla Vista Elementary School is the lowest income school with the big needs, especially with enrollment down 10% this year. Liz Stull, one of the primary organizers of this event stated, "the PTA gives all the money back to the school, paying for enrichment in computers, music, reading, Spanish, drama, and so much more. It also pays for some of the supplies teachers need, the field trips, and even first aid at the school."
The school this year also received generous community support through sponsorships. T-Shirt sponsors helped pay for the cost of the shirts, raising a total of $2,900. Albertson's donated the delicious water hydrating the students throughout the day and UCSB also donated many of the class prizes such as a lunch at the Faculty Club, a REEF Trip, tour of Francisco Torres, a ropes course lesson from the Rec Cen and a cookie making treat in the dining common. Ming Dynasty, Dominoes, Rusty's Pizza Parlor among others also helping donate field trips and prizes.
So many donations were given in fact that Stull commented, "Enough (gifts were donated) so that every class will get a prize, with the class with the most money getting first pick of their choice. It's a great way to involve the community, the university, the school, and keep everyone healthy to boot!"
Senior Kylie McCuen, the 2005 Big West Female Track athlete of the Year participated in this mornings' Jog-A-Thon and commented, "it's neat to see how little kids will look up to you because you are older and they are doing something that you love to do. They didn't even know me but I would encourage them and they would try harder just because of our encouragement...the event was fun because it was neat to see the kids excited and the parents too, especially being a Thursday morning, you know they had to take off work to be there."
It is not to late to make donations. Isla Vista Elementary School will be accepting gifts till Dec. 1st. One may bring a check or donation the front office or simply mail it in made out to the I.V. PTA or pick a grade or class and it will all go to Isla Vista Elementary School.