Avondale Elementary P.E. teacher Beth Breit said she enjoys seeing the community support given to the annual AES Runs the World 5K and Fun Run.
The annual run is a fundraiser of the Avondale Elementary School Education Foundation (AESEF).
Breit, who also serves as the event’s co-coordinator, said the AES 5k raised more than $8,000 for the school’s technology students.
“The kids in the technology club had three kids who went to state,” Breit said. “This event helps provide opportunities for our students.”
The race started and ended at Avondale Elementary School. Last year, approximately 125 runners participated in the event. This year, 168 runners participated.
The event also included a one-mile “fun run”designed to get more children involved, Breit said.
“This is all about the kids,” Breit said. “Anyone who does anything for kids understands that. It doesn’t always start big right away. This is something that we can grow and develop. What I’m really thrilled about is the way the community has responded to this event.”
Funds raised from AESEF, which was founded in 2016, have been used to purchase robots, 3-D printers and other items for the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program. Children in every grade were also able to take a nature-oriented field trip last school year, according to foundation officials.
“The mission [of AESEF] is to create opportunities and remove barriers so all our students can thrive,” said Susan Belmonte, secretary of AESEF and co-chair of the AES Runs the World 5K and Fun Run committee. “STEM is part of 21st-century learning, so it’s vital the kids at Avondale have access to that type of learning as well. That’s the whole goal of the foundation.”
In August, the school was awarded a new playground through KaBOOM. AESEF raised more than $11,000 in matching funds in less than a week, and funding partner General Motors will cover the rest of the cost. A community build day is scheduled for November 3.
First-year Avondale Estates teacher Tiffanee Price said she came to the 5k race to show her support for the school and its STEM programs.
“I love this. It’s great being able to work here and seeing things come to fruition,” Price said. “I’m excited for the playground to come together and I’m excited that the money for [this event] will help build the playground.”