Western Hills Elementary School students participate in the Jingle Jog
Trustee Al Velarde accepted donations from the Jingle Jog event for the Child Crisis Center, where he's the CEO.
Western Hills students jingle and jog for a good cause
The sounds of jingle bells rang throughout the playground at Western Hills Elementary School, but it wasn't Santa and his sleigh making the holiday noise.Follow @el_paso_isd Tweet
December 21, 2016 — EPISD News
Students donned the bells earlier this week as part of the second annual Jingle Jog event benefiting the Child Crisis Center.
The event, which is organized by the school's PTA, is geared toward promoting three objectives: parental involvement, physical education and volunteerism.
"This event is a way of bringing those three aspects together," PTA Vice President Mari VanPelt said. "This year the kids are running to raise money for a new tarp for the playground. We also invited parents to come and participate."
Students set their own lap goals, filling out a form beforehand.
Student Jud McGinnes lost track of how many laps he ran, instead opting to run as long as he could.
"I think it's a really good thing because it's Christmas time and giving back is really important," Jud said.
Fifth-grader Hailey Daubach ran ten laps, keeping track every time she passed the inflatable Santa presiding over the blacktop.
"I made sure to count my laps," Hailey said.
In conjunction with the run, students also collected gently used jackets and clothing items, as well as toys, to donate to the El Paso Child Crisis Center. The students have been collecting items since the end of November, filling four big boxes.
"I think this is a very great event because this is the season of giving where everyone is getting toys, so I think we should be able to give because giving is better than receiving," Hailey said.
EPISD board member and executive director of the center Al Velarde stopped by the school to personally thank the students and pick up the donated items.
"I just want to express my gratitude on behalf of the Child Crisis Center to all the kids who have come out to participate. I want to thank the teachers who understand that this is an important lesson for our students," Velarde said. "This is something that's very important for them to know as they grow up."
Parent Ramon Bautista enjoys attending events at the school and spending time with his daughter Leticia.
"It's nice being able to join her for these school events," Bautista said. "It's really great they are teaching the students to give back."
Although the PTA set up the event, student council members made sure to do their part as well.
"The biggest take away for the students is being able to help out the community," counselor Isela Rojas said. "They really took ownership of what we were trying to accomplish and would go to the classrooms to check for donated items and remind their fellow students to donate."
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