About 700 students from Oregon and Searfoss elementary schools will walk laps at the Johnstown-Monroe High School track Sept. 19 and 20 in an effort to raise money for their schools.
Penny Hall, walk-a-thon coordinator, said the goal for the PTO's sixth annual walk-a-thon is to raise $16,000.
This marks the first year for both schools to walk at the track, said Marcie Wilson, Oregon principal.
"We combined the two elementary schools so that all kids in grades K-5 get the advantage of walking on the high school track," Hall said. "Students collect donations the two weeks leading up to the walk in exchange for their participation in walking the track.
"It is usually beautiful weather, and the kids love walking during school and being outside," she said. "Based upon how much money each student collects, we have different levels of prizes they can earn."
The more money students raise, Hall said, the more prizes they earn.
Each student will receive a small prize just for participating, and the PTO provides a little token for each lap the students complete.
"Digital Impressions of Johnstown is always more than helpful in their support," Hall said. "We use them to supply all of our prizes."
Wilson said the prizes are great because they are Johnnies gear.
Last year's walk-a-thon raised $15,370, according to Hall.
"With those proceeds, we were able to purchase playground equipment, SMART Boards for classrooms, a new cot for the Searfoss Clinic, fifth-grade busing to camp, classroom supplies and support, COSI on Wheels and student recognition awards," she said.
The PTO also has provided funds for author visits, Wilson said.
"This is our largest fundraiser, and the parents, students and community always pull together to make it so," she said. "I am just so thankful for the work of the PTO and everyone who participates to support our schools."
Anyone who hasn't been approached by a student and would like to donate may drop off a check to either of the elementary schools. Checks should be made payable to Johnstown PTO, Hall said.
In addition to the walk-a-thon, Oregon Elementary School will host a "Pancake Spectacular" event Sept. 27 at the school.
"The staff comes in early that morning and makes breakfast for the students in recognition of Better Breakfast Month, which is in September," Wilson said. "We serve pancakes, sausage and oranges to promote jump-starting our day with a good breakfast."