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Principal gets pie in face, night on roof as Park Lane students surpass fundraising goal

Dec 02, 2016 02:57PM ● Published by Julie Slama

Park Lane Elementary Principal Justin Jeffery was all smiles after he had nine pies thrown at him as a reward for the students who surpassed their fundraising goal for Chromebooks and other devices. (Park Lane Elementary)

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


Being $905 over their $12,000 fundraising goal, Park Lane Elementary students had plenty to cheer about.

The fundraising goal, earned by students selling $2 candy bars for two weeks, is earmarked to supply Chromebooks for each fourth- and fifth-grade student as well as some iPads, Macbooks and Chromebooks so each third-grader will have a device. Existing carts of iPads and MacBooks will be used to share in the lower grades, Principal Justin Jeffery said.

“More and more of our curriculum is based with using technology and most of our assessments, like SAGE testing, are done on computers, so this will help us in sharing computers and devices especially at those times,” he said.  “Plus we use them not only for assignments, but with Hour of Code, Reflex math and Lexia for our reading.”

Jeffery said that it will also help students become more familiar with computers.

“It’s the way our education system is going, so it makes sense for our school to support it. With the SAGE testing, our students need to write essays online, so they need to be comfortable with keyboards and familiar with the device for testing. Plus, in the real world, many jobs entail computer use so we’re preparing them for their future,” he said.

Jeffery said the key to their fundraiser was to keep it easy.

“We wanted a low-key fundraiser where it wouldn’t be frustrating for students or parents, something simple. We also liked the idea that they could get the item right there, not wait for wrapping paper or cookie dough to arrive,” he said.

There were incentives to encourage students to sell boxes of 30 candy bars. For one box, a student could earn a crazy hat. By selling two boxes, they could attend a popcorn party. With three boxes sold, they received an emoji pillow and with four, they got a playground toy.

Jeffrey offered to let them throw pies in his face if they sold five boxes of 30 candy bars.

“I thought the idea of selling candy bars sounded good, but I honestly didn’t think we’d do as well as we did,” he said.

Colleen Jeffery, who helped with the school fundraiser along with Cynthia Buchanan, said her kids were able to sell candy bars at soccer practices and games.

“It was easy because asking for $2 isn’t that much as other fundraisers and most everyone could support them,”

She said that 10 students qualified to throw pies by selling five boxes. However, only nine threw them as one student chose to spare her principal her pie.

“Our highest seller was a first-grader (Brooks Anderson) who sold 10 boxes, so we let him and his mother, fifth-grade teacher Katelyn Anderson, each throw a pie.  The last pie was loaded up with syrup,” she said.

Jeffery said that one hit his ear.

“It was gross. It went in my ear and down my shirt. I needed stain remover to get it out. It was all over my face and hair and even with a poncho, it was on my shoes,” he said.

The principal also pledged that if the students raised more than $12,000, he would spend a night on the school roof.  It was 40 degrees on Oct. 7.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen. I’m from Texas, so my sleeping bag doesn’t have a liner and doesn’t go as low as I need to be in Utah,” he said.

So inside his tent he set up on the roof, he added an electric blanket. He also set up a pulley system so his family could bring him dinner, and others brought him hot chocolate and snacks during the evening.

“I waved to kids as they left school and threw them some candy. I think they got a kick out of it and could see that I’m here to support them,” he said.  

Education, Today Park Lane Elementary
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