El Morro Elementary School students hit the ground running Wednesday for their annual Jog-A-Thon fundraiser, with proceeds benefitting the PTA.
All grades participated, from kindergarten through fifth, excitedly running laps on the field and high-fiving teachers and parents.
"It's the No. 1 fundraiser at the school," said PTA President Elaine Brashier. "As you can see, everybody gets involved."
Students had the option to ask sponsors for an amount per lap or a one-time pledge.
Money raised goes to fund programs Art Masters, Reading is Fundamental, Colonial Days, Math Challenge, science assemblies, field trips and other programs.
Before each grade's run started, PTA volunteers Trish Rocha and Kelly Boyd got the energy going, doing aerobic exercises to upbeat pop music.
As kids rounded the track, parents stood on the sidelines, markers in hand, tallying the number of laps on the neon flier attached to the children's backs.
Katherine Richardson watched on as her third-grader, Trevor, neared his final laps.
"It's fun. It gets the parents involved and the kids are excited," she said. "It's a great fundraiser and community event."
When his jog was over, Trevor raced over to his mother, ready for his Popsicle. Panting and wiping sweat from his forehead, he said he had a good time and likes to run.
"It's just a great vibe. The kids absolutely love it," Brashier said. "They get to run with their parents, teachers, coaches and principal."
Principal Chris Duddy jogged on the track alongside first-, fourth- and fifth-graders.
Jill Daniel watched on as her daughter Sydney, a first-grader, stretched for her 9:30 a.m. jog.
"She's been so excited. It's all her friends have been talking about," Daniel said.
It was obvious that the kids were excited about the day, posing for pictures and overflowing with energy.
The emcee on the loudspeaker had to remind kids that although Wednesday was the Jog-A-Thon, it was still a normal school day, even though it felt like a day off.
Although El Morro will not know how much was raised until April 15, organizers anticipate a substantial amount. In past years they've raised $50,000 to $60,000. The Jog-A-Thon is usually the top fundraiser.
Top of the World Elementary School, which held its Jog-A-Thon on March 25, is also hoping to reach the $50,000 mark and is accepting donations until Friday.