HomeMt Laurel NewsSpringville Elementary School PTO gets a boost with new fundraiser

Springville Elementary School PTO gets a boost with new fundraiser

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For many school parent-teacher organizations in South Jersey, fundraising consists of selling a food item such as candy and pies or holding a book fair.

However, the PTO at Springville Elementary School is trying something no other school in South Jersey has done before.

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Springville is wrapping up a two-week PTO fundraiser called Boosterthon. The fundraiser bucks the trend of having kids sell items and focuses more closely on the students.

“(Boosterthon) promotes fundraising in a different way,” said Marlene Bollar, the PTO’s vice president for fundraising.

Boosterthon is more than a fundraiser. It’s a two-week program where a team of Boosterthon representatives holds a pep rally and has daily team activities for each class in the school. These activities focus on character building and giving the students leadership skills.

“It builds on the character education programs we already have,” Springville Principal Gailen Mitchell said.

For the fundraising aspect, each participating student has a Boosterthon webpage where they can get pledges from family and friends. The webpage is easy to share on social media and through email. Donors make pledges and can choose to donate to the fundraiser through the page.

Boosterthon culminates in a Fun Run, which took place on Nov. 19 in the Springville gym. Each grade took about an hour out of their school day to run 30 to 35 laps around the gym.

Boosterthon is a completely new concept for everyone involved. Springville is the first school in South Jersey to participate in the program.

The PTO opted to do Boosterthon in place of multiple smaller fundraisers. In the smaller fundraisers, the PTO only kept 10 percent to 15 percent of the money raised. With Boosterthon, it will keep 45 percent.

“It is far better than most other fundraisers,” Bollar said.

The other positive aspect is in the character-building activities. Mitchell said the students are more attentive during Boosterthon activities, and it helps gets their message across better.

Ryan Arnold, one of the members of the Boosterthon team, said they used music, video and fun physical activities to get the kids interested.

“It’s all about building character in the classroom,” he said. “It’s built with enthusiasm and a dialogue.”

Boosterthon fundraisers have a different theme for each school year. This year, students got to view music videos and learn songs. The videos helped teach the students how to be an upfront leader and work together with their classmates.

“The lesson is all about teamwork and how to be a leader on campus,” Arnold said.

The message has gotten across to the students and has spread outside the school walls. Mitchell said she’s received feedback from parents on how their child has applied the character-building skills learned during Boosterthon activities.

The character building has also increased excitement in the fundraising aspect. Bollar said about 80 percent of the student body signed up to fundraise on Boosterthon, nearly double the number of fundraisers from previous years. In addition, about 70 percent of students have gotten at least one pledge.

The PTO will review Boosterthon once all the money is collected. However, Bollar believes smaller fundraisers may be a thing of the past.

“Our goal is to have a major fundraiser in the fall and one in the spring instead of several smaller events,” Bollar said.

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