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123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
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Gates Wheel-A-Thon builds community, funds for playground equipment

Several students pedaled around the block at Gates Elementary on September 27 at the school’s second annual Wheel-A-Thon. Some wore unicorn helmets, while others had bicycles clad with fake motors to create a revving sound.

The students and families had fun, but they weren’t there just to ride; they were there to support their school and raise funds. Families pledged any monetary amount per lap around the block. They rode around the block as many times as they wanted at the event, then paid for their total pledge.

The event, thanks to local sponsors, was able to provide a bike and helmets for a drawing, as well as treats.

Chandra Myers, Gates teacher and PTA co-president and, said the PTA reached out to partner with a few local businesses to ensure a fun night of community and wellness. They partnered with Michelson Lofts, Grand Island Chiropractic Center, AAA and Anna Street Trolley.

Myers said the Wheel-A-Thon came about last year as the PTA was planning a way to build community at Gates and raise funds for recess and playground equipment.

“We thought this wellness activity was a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle and bring families together for a great cause,” Myers said.

She said the event is important because it ties into the district’s strategic plan. Myers said one of the strategic goals is to expand learning opportunities and increase community partnerships to make learning relevant.

“This event provides an opportunity for our students, families and local businesses to come together for a like cause,” Myers said.

Another district goal is to provide opportunities to grow students’ creativity and social-emotional skills by addressing students’ ranging needs. This can include physical health, mental health and nutrition so students are then able to focus on learning.

“We love providing wellness activities for our students,” Myers said. “For some kids, this is their ‘thing.’”

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Jennifer Worthington, Marketing & Communications
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