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Columbus Elementary - Edwardsville, IL

For the past 10 years, Columbus Elementary has united the student body in its efforts to raise money in the fight against diabetes. For the students, participating in School Walk for Diabetes (SWFD) is a way to bring classmates together for a good cause--and a great time!

The school's campaign takes place during PE classes in the spring, and the excitement resonates throughout the school during the entire week. PE teacher Linda Nota acts like a DJ, and students get up and dance to songs like Macarena, Hokey Pokey and Cotton Eye Joe!

"It's actually kind of a walk/dance! It's a fun day where they can dance if they want to dance, or just walk and talk with their friends," said Nota.

The students' enthusiasm about SWFD begins long before the week of the event. As soon as the fund-raising campaign kicks off each year, students are ready and motivated to start raising money. Throughout the campaign, students keep asking what the new fund-raising total is and trying to raise even more. This year alone, they raised $10,107, breaking last year's record of $9,600!

"I never mentioned trying to break last year's goal, or trying to beat anybody or break any records. I just tell them to do their best," said Nota. "I basically unite them. We are the Columbus kids."

The events have been a major success during the past decade—and the school has earned a multitude of equipment through the US Games certificates that the program offers. Not only do they have both an indoor and outdoor supply of basketballs, volleyballs, hula hoops, hockey sticks, Frisbees and more, but they have enough pedometers for every student!

Although the incentives are nice, the students are even more proud of the good they can do for the fight against diabetes. With these students and their teachers, there is no telling how much money they will raise—the sky’s the limit!

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