Thursday, December 20, 2012

Healthy Fundraiser Inspires Two Elementaries

When Jennifer Spiegel was brainstorming fundraiser ideas this fall, she diverged from the norm and developed an idea that would make a meaningful and lasting impact on her students as well as those from a nearby campus in need.

Spiegel, the P.E. coach at Roberta Tipps Elementary, teaches her students the importance of developing active and healthy habits to practice in gym class and during their free time. As she searched for a fundraising opportunity that matched her healthy mission, she came across the Ultimate Fitness Challenge, a timed obstacle course resembling a wonderland of bounce-houses and inflatable activities.

In addition to being a fun and healthy activity, this was also a way for students to collect funds via pledges from family, friends and neighbors. The kids enjoyed the obstacle course, but they were ultimately motivated by the purpose of the event – raising money to purchase sports equipment for low income students at Erma Nash Elementary, a neighboring MISD campus.

“Our students here at Tipps have so much and I wanted them to give to others here in Mansfield who don’t,” said Spiegel. “I’m trying to teach empathy for others and I wanted them to see it in action for themselves.”

70 students participated in the challenge and raised enough money to purchase equipment for 78 students at Nash. On December 7, Spiegel and her students loaded the equipment on school buses and traveled to Nash to present the goods. It was a heartwarming and pure display of generosity and graciousness.

As the Tipps students handed out soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, hula hoops and jump ropes, they were each given a handwritten thank you card in return.

“I’ve never been given something like this from another school,” said Ariana Rosborough, a 4th grader from Nash. “I’m thankful for the equipment and I hope someday we can do something like this for other students too.”   

It was clear that the students from Nash were thankful and inspired by this act of kindness, but it also held a meaningful lesson for the Tipps kids.

“I think they are really happy and it made me feel happy too,” said Diesel Ayres, a 1st grader from Tipps. “It’s good to raise money for others because it’s helpful and it helps other kids get healthy.”