St. Anselm students on right track for education

Students took part in the Race for Education, an annual fundraiser that helps St. Anselm raise money to improve the experience for the kids.

Showing their stuff: St. Anselm students compete during their Race for Education. After the students performed during the event, they walked around the school. JOHN COLE / TIMES PHOTO

A little bit of hustle can go a long way. Members of the St. Anselm community see the results with their annual “Race for Education.”

On April 27, students from preschool to eighth grade at St. Anselm School, 12650 Dunks Ferry Road, congregated in Our Lady of Victory hall to kick off their race day.

The Race for Education is the annual fundraiser held at St. Anselm in which students reach out to friends, family, and neighbors to help raise money for a specific initiative to improve the experience at the school each year.

“You get donations anywhere from $1 to $1,000 from the parishioners or their friends and family,” said Loren Pierson, St. Anselm alum and co-coordinator for the Race for Education.

The funds for the previous two years went to provide a new outdoor playset for students in an early childhood program for preschoolers aged 3 and 4 and two kindergarten classes. This fenced-in play area used by these students during recess was completed in the summer of 2017.

This year’s initiative? Improve the science lab.

“We have a room designated as a science lab, and we want to upgrade that with some new furniture,” said principal Geraldine Murphy. “We want to be able to get some sinks in there, some plumbing done, so that we can do more hands-on lab experiments with them.”

Murphy added that some of the funds will also help on the maintenance for some of the technology in the school.

The fun on race day begins in Our Lady of Victory hall, where each grade files in on that Friday afternoon for a pep rally to show off a song and dance routine for the faculty and members of their family.

Students in preschool to third grade did a combined singalong to show off their school spirit, while grades four through eight individually performed a song and dance that substituted certain lyrics to popular songs to include the fundraiser’s name.

“What’s really very special is fourth to eighth grade do their own cheers,” Murphy said. “The teachers don’t help them.”

Faculty members were very impressed with the enthusiasm of the entire student body, but the eighth grade in particular caught the attention of Murphy.

“I was particularly impressed with the eighth grade because they would practice every day out here in the schoolyard,” said Murphy. “They would ask if they could use the library, the whole eighth grade, could they use the library to practice in there because they were keeping their cheer secret.”

The 22 eighth-grade students were the last to perform in the gymnasium before the student body exited to walk around the school under the supervision of the faculty.

This year’s race will also include an award given out in memory of Patricia Erwin, who was the Race for Education coordinator the past couple of years.

St. Anselm’s student body of 258 surpassed their $25,000 goal by raising $28,483.64.

The administration at St. Anselm’s was pleased with surpassing the fundraising goal once again and was thankful for the hard work of the students and donations from the neighborhood.

“St. Anselm’s is an instrumental part of the community,” said Pierson. “It’s important if everyone supports it and comes out for these fundraisers and continue to grow the community and I don’t think without this school, I think this school is a staple part of Parkwood and everybody supports it, so it’s great.” ••

John Cole can be reached at JCole@bsmphilly.com