Friday, August 06, 2010

TOP STORY > >School seeks supporters

Leader staff writer

On Friday, teachers at Jacksonville Elementary School will take to the city streets in an exercise modeled after the reality television show, “The Amazing Race,” as a way to get acquainted with one another and local businesses.

The school is seeking sponsors for the event, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Proceeds from the event will be used to replenish the school’s uniform supply.

“We know that the success of our school depends on civic leaders and businesses supporting us,” school principal Sonja Whitfield said. “We need them to know who we are and what we do, and we thought this was a fun way to do that.”

Some sponsoring businesses, serving as “pit stops” on the event route, will provide challenges to the teams of four teachers each.

“Some businesses will be roadblocks. For instance, at the police station, you may have to get out of handcuffs, or at the dentist’s office you might have to brush your teeth,” Whitfield explained.

Other sponsors will supply a clue or require that an activity be completed before a team advances to the next station in the competition.    

Prizes will be awarded to the first teams to cross the finish line.

Whitfield and media specialist Samantha Runyon conceived of the event as a way to build teamwork among teachers and strengthen ties between the school and the community.

 “It’s going to be a valuable training exercise because it will have teachers working together, learning together and getting to know the community, but it also will be a lot of fun,” Whitfield said. “The excitement about the event is growing by the day.”

More than two dozen businesses have already signed on as sponsors, and each business will be listed on the team shirts.

“It’s a win-win because it also gives businesses a chance to spotlight what they do and introduce their staff to the teachers,” Whitfield said.

“Of course, we’re hoping others will continue to step in to help sponsor prizes or provide lunch, become a water stop or a pit stop,” she added.

For more information about the event, or to become a sponsor, contact Whitfield at 982-6571.