By Heather Lusk
Each year, a group of students donning a rainbow of colors raises money for the Parent Teacher Organizations for each Zionsville elementary school.
Wearing different colored shirts based on grade level, preschoolers through fourth-graders will spend Sept. 26 running laps around their school after asking family and friends to donate money on a flat- or per-lap basis.
The money supports the PTOs to provide items to enhance classroom learning.
“We want people to know, and our families to know, that the funds are used in the classroom for things that the kids use every day,” said Maritzka Hoone, Boone Meadow Elementary’s PTO president and Jog-a-Thon chair.
Hoone said that as the newest school in the district, Boone Meadow’s PTO has needed to fund more than other schools. The Boone Meadow student population has more than doubled from around 200 children when it opened in 2013 to 540 today.
“When our schools grow, how do we raise more money?” Hoone said.
Hoone said that because Zionsville is the lowest-funded school district in the state based on a per-student calculation, PTOs fill in the gaps for teachers.
“I think our kids would be at a disadvantage without these things,” Hoone said.
Boone Meadow PTO covered the expense of an outdoor shelter on its playground to provide shade in the treeless area; provided classroom technology devices; and has supplied teacher-planning materials.
All Zionsville PTOs cover similar expenses and cover the expense of buses for elementary school field trips, significantly reducing the cost parents would otherwise pay.
The Jog-a-Thon shirts will sport a new logo this year that Hoone says is more playful.
“The kids look forward to it so much,” she said. “They’re excited to get that next color in that grade level.”