Sometimes adolescents are a little “too cool for school.” They can seem a little reluctant to show their school spirit and admit they like being at school. But give them the chance to run around outside and have some out-of-the-ordinary fun with their friends, and they’re all in.
That was definitely the case at Fox Ridge Middle School during the school’s annual Color Run, held on Sept. 1. A majority of the school’s 1,400 students participated in the optional event. It gave them the opportunity to raise money for their school, and in return, spend an afternoon on the athletic field outside the school, pelting their friends and teachers with brightly colored cornstarch.
“It was so much fun!” exclaimed sixth-grader Lillie Serrant, standing next to her friend Macie Bruner, who added, “I would so do it again!”
The two were breathless with excitement and more colorful than you can imagine. Like the rest of the students, they started the event wearing a bright, white Fox Ridge T-shirt. They added colorful tutus and socks. One boy wore a wig that was white when he started.
Then, grade by grade, students played a round of drippy dodge ball using color-soaked sponges and did laps around the field, covering their friends, their teachers and occasionally themselves, with a perfect palette of colored cornstarch: deep turquoise, neon orange, bright yellow and hot pink. The cornstarch was harmless and perfectly safe for the students and the athletic field.
Forty minutes later, the students were all walking rainbows, covered with colored cornstarch and absolutely bursting with enthusiasm.
“The best part is just watching the energy of the kids,” said Assistant Principal Joe Stuart. “The kids have a blast. They come out here and go crazy. It gets kids involved in the school and kicks off the school year in a great way.”
Before the Color Run, students collected donations from family and friends. While the final total is still being tallied, students raised thousands of dollars for technology upgrades at Fox Ridge. Principal Joleta Gallozzi says the funds will be put to good use.
“We have a lot of Chromebooks that are getting older,” Gallozzi explained. “They’re going to be refurbished. We have a sound system for our musical productions and we’ll refurbish that as well.”
Sixth-grader Skyler Landry was the school’s top fundraiser, bringing in a total of $555. That earned him the chance to shave the head of the event organizer, but he said that wasn’t his real motivation.
“It’s always good to help out,” Landry said. “I feel if we can help out we can make a difference in the world.”
After each grade had their Color Run fun, the students walked past teachers and administrators armed with leaf-blowers to blow away most of the cornstarch. But what was left behind was a heightened feeling of fun, friendship and school spirit.
“It’s a great community effort,” Principal Gallozzi said proudly. “The kids are doing something to support their school and I think that helps create that sense of pride and ownership in their school.”
See more Color Run photos on the Cherry Creek Schools Facebook page.