As area schools open next month, runners and walkers will also “run back to school” to donate supplies and snacks.
The Girls Scouts of Franklin County is hosting the first Run Back to School 5K at Lakeview Park on Aug. 19 at 1 p.m. The deadline to preregister is Sunday.
Julia Conover, service unit co-manager of Franklin County Girl Scouts, began to organize the project after thinking about ways to support teachers and students earlier this year. Previously a substitute teacher, she gained respect for her coworkers and said teachers often pay out of pocket to supply their classrooms with basic supplies or snacks for the Backpack Snacks program.
“There’s a lot of items (on the list). Teachers need a lot,” Conover said.
While the event is sponsored by Girl Scouts, Conover said the 5K will have something for everyone. She hopes that as the race grows, it will become a communitywide event. Conover said the 5K already has a lot of support from organizations like Frankfort Striders, Frankfort Police and Star 103.7. She said the reaction to the event has been positive so far.
Conover said the Run Back to School 5K gives Franklin County residents a chance to be involved with their schools and make up for items that some families cannot afford.
“As a community, we have to stand up and try to help each other out,” Conover said. “That is what the word ‘community’ is for.”
The 5K will be similar to a Color Run, as Run Back to School runners will be doused in colored powder throughout the race. Conover said registration ends this weekend because organizers need an estimate of participants to order color in advance.
Participants can register online before Sunday’s deadline and get a swag bag with a T-shirt, sunglasses and a single powder packet or a bag without a T-shirt. If a runner brings five donation items of school supplies or non-perishable food items, he can get $5 off any registration package. To participate without a swag bag, registration costs $5.
Amy Snow, Franklin County School’s community education director, said an event that directly supports teachers like the 5K hasn’t happened in Franklin County to her knowledge. She said she and other FCS staff members are “very thankful” for the help.
Snow said that she will volunteer with registrations at the 5K and will facilitate the donations. She said the school supplies will be divided up among schools and the food will go to the Backpack Snacks program, which gives students food to take home on weekends.
The donation list includes:
- Notebook paper
- Disinfecting spray
- Clorox wipes
- Paper towels
- Dry erase markers
- Colored pencils and markers
- Large bottles of hand sanitizer
- Wood or mechanical pencils
- Post-It notes
- Paper clips
- Pre-sharpened pencils
- Composition notebooks
- Sharpened Ticonderoga pencils (Dixon brand)
- Thick black Sharpies
- Cardstock, any color
- Non-perishable food items