OGDEN -- Gramercy Elementary School students and their families got to play games, dunk a doctor and eat snow cones while learning how to stay healthy this week.
The school held its end of the year carnival to help raise funds for the PTA. But this year, the carnival came with a bonus. Ogden Clinic was also there to do free health screenings and talk about healthy lifestyles, while helping to raise funds for the school.
The clinic decided to form a corporate partnership with the school and assist in raising much-needed funds through the first Grizzly Tracks 5K, which will take place in September. Funds raised from the 5K entry fees will go directly to the school to help purchase a $20,000 sound system.
"We have a pretty old school, and much of the technology is lacking," said Gramercy Elementary Principal Jay Seese. "One of the great things with this new sound system is that the teachers can wear a device that will amplify their voice, so each student can clearly hear them. No student will be able to say they can't hear their teacher."
Ogden Clinic Marketing Director Valerie Kierejewski said the clinic wants to play two roles in its involvement with the school. The first is to make sure everyone knows how important it is to be healthy, and the second is to help raise the money for needed equipment and supplies.
"We recognize the importance of reaching out to an area where they are missing some of the basic equipment they really do need in the classroom," she said. "The idea for this kickoff at the carnival is to get them excited about the upcoming 5K and to spend the summer training and getting ready to run. If they stay fit all summer, they're going to be healthier and ready to get back to work in the classroom."
Castle Creek Pediatric Dentistry also has been involved in the fundraising efforts, Kierejewski said.
"This whole partnership has been magnificent," said PTA President Brittany White. "It's so wonderful that these people are reaching out to our school and our families. The 5K was a great idea, because it teaches the kids there are more important things to do than sit around with an Xbox."
Seese said several assemblies have been held to get the kids excited to stay healthy all summer and to get ready for the 5K.
"It's a bonus all the way around," he said. "Healthy kids have higher school attendance, and higher school attendance leads to success in life. And to top it off, we are getting the help we need to make our school a better place for our students to learn and succeed."