Dublin Villager

Walkathons raise money for iPads in classrooms

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Laps around a track will lead to iPads for some Dublin schools.

Chapman Elementary School last week held its annual walk-a-thon that usually nets $5,000 for technology in the classroom.

The PTO organized event paid for SMART Boards in Chapman classrooms and now the group is focusing on getting five iPads for every classroom.

"From what I can tell we've raised $25,000," said Chapman PTO President Noreen Marando.

"We average about $5,000 each year."

The school has been doing walk-a-tons for about five years, Marando guessed, and has used the theme "Take Yourself to the Track for Technology" to highlight the push for money for technology at the elementary.

"We finished up the initiative last year for a SMART Board in every classroom," Marando said, adding many people don't know that PTOs fund classroom items the district's budget cannot provide.

"We did some research and found that iPads are a great resource for the schools."

In fact, Marando said her daughter last year turned in a science project on an iPad and the teacher graded the multi-media project on the iPad.

"I was amazed by what they were able to do," she said.

The PTO tries to make the fundraiser that will work to get five iPads in each third-grade classroom fun for students.

"We have incentive programs for students," walk-a-thon organizer Laura Boyer said, adding that students have a chance to win prizes individually or as a whole school.

"We hype it up for the whole building. (Principal Scott) Zeoli will dress up as Batman and the custodian will dress up as Robin (if the school meets its goal). They have to do it all day."

Students do laps for the walk-a-thon during recess and earn cards or Silly Bandz for each lap.

"We got bubble machines and have music," Boyer said.

"We want to pump it up and make it fun for the kids."

Chapman isn't the only school to use walk-a-thons to raise funds.

Wyandot Elementary School will hold its first walk-a-thon next month to raise money for literacy books to support Common Core Learning, iPads and iPad applications.

"It was our principal's idea," organizer Robin Briedenbach said.

"Instead of membership PTO dues we chose to do a walk-a-thon."

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