ROCHELLE — On Friday, St. Paul Lutheran School hosted its annual Fun Run fundraiser at Atwood Park. This year, a twist was added to the event and it was a Color Fun Run.
“A teacher had suggested involving color this year,” St. Paul Parent-Teacher League Treasurer Jennifer Heal said. “She knew of another school that did it. We thought we'd do something different, and the kids are having a blast. We did it with preschool too and it turned out really well. They're out here having a ball now and being tye dyed.”
The fun run event has been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years, Heal said. It’s one of St. Paul’s biggest fundraisers of the year. The fundraising goal for Friday’s event was $4,000 and the money goes back to funding curriculum at the school.
“Every couple of years we have to change up the curriculum and technology items for the classrooms, making sure each kid gets a Chromebook and that teachers have new laptops,” Heal said. “And then it also allows us to implement new programs such as STEAM. That's what it's going towards this year."
Heal said the fun run has always taken place near the beginning of the school year and serves as a “back to school” celebration and students look forward to it. The school has also incorporated a back to school picnic into the event and on Friday afternoon families came over to Cooper Park for dinner.
The Friday event featured students taking part in an obstacle course with different features at the park. Students were split into each grade and older students helped with the younger grades’ runs.
"I think this gives them an opportunity to get out of the classroom,” Heal said. “For so long during the COVID-19 period, we were behind screens and learning in a different capacity. I think this just brings back what they're used to and being able to have fun with their friends all while having physical activity."
Heal said that she enjoys events like the fun run because it allows her to watch her own kids grow. She has three children at St. Paul and has been able to participate in events like the fun run over the years.
“This is the first year I've actually put it together,” Heal said. “I get to see the enjoyment on their faces and them being with their friends. Later this afternoon, the older kids will come back and help with the little kids. That's always something I cherish about St. Paul."