A moustache laden photo booth, face painting and throwing water balloons at your elementary school principal, what do these three things have in common? If you said that they are all different “stations” at a zany fundraiser assembled by some overly imaginative fifth graders in order to help out their school resource officer, you would be right and chances are you are also probably already aware of this wonderful story. For those who haven’t heard…
On Monday, the Tampico Elementary School fifth graders held a carnival themed fundraiser for their School Resource Officer Jim Miller who is currently on medical leave. The fundraiser was the brain child of 5th grade teachers Erin Sanders and Emily Grady. “Erin and I have both had a couple of Jim’s kids in class, so we were thinking of how we could help him. We always love seeing Jim at TES, and the kids love talking to him when he’s here,” said Grady.
The idea to help was easy but answering the “how” seemed, well, it seemed easy too.
“Our first idea was to put Mr. Geer in a dunk tank and have the kids pay to dunk him. Then we realized it would be the middle of October and it might be too cold for that,” said Grady. “Our next thought was to have the kids pay to throw water balloons at him! From there we had a few other fun ideas, and thought “why not have a carnival?”
The concept continued to grow with the students jumping on board as well. “The fifth graders helped us come up with stations, gave ideas for prizes, made all of the posters, and made the flyer that we sent home to the students. The day of the carnival, they spent the morning helping us get everything set up. They also each worked at a station for half of the time,” Grady said.
In all the carnival ended up with 22 stations, with all but 6 of them being free. The paid stations cost the students one dollar each, which were tracked by a punch card.
Prizes for some of the stations were donated by Tirzah Renkes, Chelsie VanDyke/Envy Boutique, Jennifer Malone, Keirra Crocker, Linh Melton, and Gina Babin. Other contributors included Regina Sikkema, who brought in a tractor tire for the football toss, Jennifer Cooper and Melissa Butts who made cotton candy, the Tampico Fire Department brought a firetruck for the students to explore, and Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker who brought the department’s K9 and Comfort dogs. Several parents volunteered to help things run smoothly.
Prophetstown High School also participated in the event with 11 members of the National Honor Society, along with sponsor Ida Holper, helping run various stations.
The Tampico Education Association donated $200 if the students read for 400 minutes during the carnival at a station set up in the cafeteria.
Grady was appreciative of the efforts of all involved, “We couldn’t have made it happen without the support from our communities!”