• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

'Run for DC' at Simmons Elementary set for Sept. 17

SIMMONS ELEMENTARY School fifth-graders learn about U.S. government during their annual visit to Washington, D.C. The educational trip to the nation's capital has been made affordable for students because of the dollars raised through entry fees and sponsorships of the Run for DC. This year's 5K fundraiser will be held Sept. 17 at Simmons. (Photo submitted)

Simmons Elementary School will host its fifth annual Run for DC on Saturday, Sept. 17, beginning at 8 a.m. Entry fees and sponsorships for the 5K run/walk will support a fifth-grade trip to Washington, D.C., next April. Because fifth-grade social studies focuses on U.S. government, teacher Kendra Wadsworth said this trip to Washington, D.C., allows students to "lay their eyes" on the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other historic documents they've learned about in class.

"It's not just something in a book. It's not just something that we talk about - it becomes more real," said Wadsworth.

U.S. Congressman Andy Barr, who represents Kentucky in the House of Representatives, typically talks to the Simmons fifth-graders about his job and how government works. The students also tour the Capitol Building, see the Washington Monument, lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, and visit D.C.'s war memorials and Smithsonian museums.

"I like watching the kids take it all in. That's what I enjoy," said Wadsworth, who has been on two previous fifth-grade trips to Washington, D.C.

Oftentimes students from Simmons Elementary also get to see the blooming cherry blossoms, which she described as "beautiful."

Last year's "Run for DC" raised over $11,000 - lowering the cost for all fifth-graders. Scholarships (through the school's Family Resource Center) are awarded to students whose families could not otherwise pay for their trip to the nation's capital.

Four levels of Run for DC sponsorships offer an opportunity for local businesses and companies to also support this educational experience for fifth-graders at Simmons Elementary.

The Run for DC begins and ends at Simmons, located at 830 Tyrone Pike. Prizes are awarded to the overall winners (male and female), and also to the top-three male and top-three female runners in nine different age categories. Dogs may also participate in the Run for DC, with a prize awarded to the first four-legged furry friend to finish the 5K.

Anyone wanting to pre-register for the Run for DC may pick up an entry form at Simmons Elementary.

The entry fee is $25 before Sept. 17, or $30 on the day of the 5K, with registration beginning at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 7:45 a.m. Individuals may also sponsor a fifth-grader so he or she can participate in the Run for DC at no cost.

All runners/walkers receive t-shirts for their participation.

For more information or to register for the 5K online, visit run4dc.com. An additional fee is charged for online registrations.

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