Relay to support local schools | ParkRecord.com

Relay to support local schools

by Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

With budget constraints by the legislature being passed on to local schools, the Park City Education Foundation (PCEF) is trying to raise money to shorten the gap for the Park City School District and ease the burden on teachers to find funding for projects that would otherwise be placed on the chopping block.

Items like iPods and robots that don’t appear to be a necessity in the classroom would never be funded by the school district, said Abby McNulty, executive director of PCEF. Those items, however, are arguably a unique teaching tool that engages young students in a way that is not currently happening, she said.

"We support teacher grants," McNulty said. "Teachers apply to us for innovative tools for their program. iPods in the classroom are a cutting edge way of reaching out to kids. It gives them more access to technology, and education needs to support what they have outside the classroom. iPods are tools that are being used around the country to learn math skills, not to listen to music."

To help teachers with grants, McNulty said PCEF is teaming with the community by creating a fundraiser that will appeal to runners. They have created a relay race modeled off the popular Ragnar (Logan to Park City) race.

The relay race will begin at Newpark Town Center May 22 at 8 a.m. and will take about eight hours with staggered starts. The teams will consist of five members each running two legs for a total of 43 miles. The route will pass all seven of Park City’s public schools. The race was designed to accommodate all runners from beginners to advanced. The legs vary, with some only being 1.5 miles and others being 7 miles.

Although the race can hold 400 teams, McNulty said she expects it to fill up fast and encourages teams to sign up early. There is a $400 entry fee for teams who sign up before Feb. 15. The registration goes up to $500 from Feb. 15 until March 15 and is $600 from March 15 until April 20.

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McNulty said PCEF will hold a festival feel after the race with music, food, performers and giveaways. There will be prizes for race winners, best-decorated school, best-decorated car, best costumes, schools with the most participants and more.

For a race schedule, or to volunteer, visit http://www.pcef4kids.org.