Students at Bradford School are learning at an early age the value of giving back to the community. And the community is expressing its thanks!
The school’s annual Run-a-Thon, held May 30, where children collect pledges then run laps around the school and playground, was a resounding success, raising $3,400 for the YMCA of Montclair’s Annual Campaign (formerly known as “Strong Kids,”) and getting the kids plenty of outdoor exercise on a beautiful day.
“Starting philanthropy in elementary school is brilliant,” said JoAnn Short, President/CEO of the YMCA of Montclair. “The Y is so grateful for the support of the students, faculty and parents at Bradford School for the contributions made to the Y’s Annual Campaign.”
Each class, from kindergarten on up, participates in the Run-a-Thon, taking the field at different 45-minute intervals. Faculty, staff and parents can run too. PTA volunteers use bands to keep track of how much each student runs, and make sure the kids are hydrated, handing out water, and cool, keeping the courtyard sprinkler going.
Besides teaching the kids the value of helping others, the event also demonstrates for kids the importance of staying fit, something Bradford is committed to—for many years the school has had a running club for kids, coordinated by Bradford parents Peggy Manning and Maggie Magaldi, and pal education/health teacher Tom Maloney. And many Bradford kids and their families participate each year in the annual Montclair Run 10-kilometer race and Fun Run, which also benefit the Y.
Studies have demonstrated that kids who walk or bike to school have improved concentration and alertness in class, and Short commends Bradford for getting the kids out early before school for exercise with Running Club. “Starting a running club to create healthy lifestyles helps eager minds absorb content all day,” she said. It also “makes school a fun place to be every day!”
Short says the Y has been lucky to benefit from the Bradford Run and have so many students come out each year to run in the Montclair Run. “ We are very thankful that Mr. M’s leadership and love for running has been passed down to the amazing students at Bradford.”
This year the Annual Campaign raised a record $95,000, which will be used to provide Montclair children and adults with financial assistance to learn to swim and to attend Y camp this summer.
The Y’s mission is to make all its programs available to everyone in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. “This would not be possible without the support of our friends and neighbors at the Bradford School,” Short said.
(Photos: Sarah Forrest)