2016-10-06 / Front Page

Burns students crawl, walk and hop for PTO

By Anthony Aloisio
Staff Writer


Isaiahs Frias, a third grader in Dan Rouselle’s class crawls out of a tunnel obstacle at C.K. Burns School last week during a PTO event aimed at eliminating bullying and encouraging physical activity. For more information about PTO events at Burns School, visit CK Burns PTO on Facebook. (Anthony Aloisio photo) Isaiahs Frias, a third grader in Dan Rouselle’s class crawls out of a tunnel obstacle at C.K. Burns School last week during a PTO event aimed at eliminating bullying and encouraging physical activity. For more information about PTO events at Burns School, visit CK Burns PTO on Facebook. (Anthony Aloisio photo) SACO – At C.K. Burns School students are getting exercise, supporting their parent-teacher organization (PTO), and thinking about the kind of strength it takes to resist bullying.

An event held Friday, Sept. 29, was set up as a walkathon intended to raise funds for the PTO. Throughout the day, students came out to spend time making rounds through an obstacle course that had been set up by parents and volunteers.

“Each grade level is broken into a couple different teams, so basically we have different teams going all day long,” said Lisa Pelton, PTO treasurer, who was supervising during the event.


Far right, Dylan Neumeister, a third grader in Lindsey Judge’s class, walks down a balance beam. Right, signs around the obstacle course at Friday’s walkathon offered kind and encouraging words. Resisting bullying was a theme of the walkathon. (Anthony Aloisio photo) Far right, Dylan Neumeister, a third grader in Lindsey Judge’s class, walks down a balance beam. Right, signs around the obstacle course at Friday’s walkathon offered kind and encouraging words. Resisting bullying was a theme of the walkathon. (Anthony Aloisio photo) Distinct from the standard walkathon format, the walking wasn’t measured by the individual student, but by the student body as a whole.

“The whole day someone is outside being active,” said Amy DesRoberts, PTO president.

The obstacle course included a few different challenges, including a tire course and balance beam. Also in the course were more comprehensive challenges, such as a crawling section, where students were instructed to crawl backward to race each other before reaching a tunnel obstacle, which they could crawl through forward. There was also a challenge for using a field hockey stick to move a ball through a cone course and a sack race. At the end of the course was a tent with music where students could dance and play freely. The challenges were organized by guidance counselor Karen Lemoine, physical education teacher Jon Gallant and DesRoberts.

At each challenge were signs created by students that offered encouraging words and thoughts on bullying, often along the theme of the challenge itself.

In addition to the antibullying theme, the day was intended to be an excuse for the students to get some extra exercise, which, DesRoberts said, is in line with the 5-2-1-0 program.

The 5-2-1-0 program is run by Let’s Go, a national obesity prevention program. The name stands for five or more fruits and vegetables a day, two hours or less of recreational screen time, one or more hours of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks. C.K. Burns School has been part of the program for at least five years, according to Vice Principal Patrick Conley. Pursuant to the program, the school has adopted policies discouraging unhealthy snacks in the classroom and encouraging teachers to promote physical activities for students. The school has also made information about healthy habits available to parents.


Left, Gianna Stone, a fourth grader in Ann Marie Hann’s class, steps through a tire obstacle. (Anthony Aloisio photo) Left, Gianna Stone, a fourth grader in Ann Marie Hann’s class, steps through a tire obstacle. (Anthony Aloisio photo) The walkathon money was raised by flat pledges, according to DesRoberts. Students were sent home with pledge forms that parents could fill out and return to pledge donations to the PTO. This was the first time PTO had done a walkathon.

“Normally we do fundraisers like products sales, like Yankee Candle,” DesRoberts said. “This year we decided to try to do something that incorporate the kids a little bit more.”

Money raised by PTO supports PTO programs, which include field trips and other-outside-the-classroom learning for students.

“Really anything that the school budget doesn’t cover,” DesRoberts said.

PTO is planning a book fair for Monday, Oct. 17 to Thursday, Oct. 20. That event will earn books for the school classrooms.

Contact Staff Writer Anthony Aloisio at news@inthecourier.com.

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