• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Sprout Day raises money for new playground at Huntertown

A health and wellness day at Huntertown Elementary School was also an opportunity to raise money for a new playground, according to PTO President Ashley Vaughn. Sprout, an organization that works with local schools to raise dollars for worthy projects, was started by Emily Stuart who saw a need. “What I see as a former teacher is we’re raising kids that are screen addicted and completely checked out …,” said Stuart. “This is a way to reintroduce kids during the school day” to activities that promote health and wellness. So on Sprout Day, students spent time during the school day learning about mental and physical fitness while doing a variety of hands-on activities. Students learned about balance and body control while gaining knowledge about the basics of tennis. And they learned about self-discipline while doing kicks and other Taekwondo basics. “My goal at the end of a Sprout Day is that every kid felt connected somewhere,” said Stuart. Leading up to Sprout Day on Oct. 25, Huntertown students earned prizes and awards based on how much they raised in donations from their parents, family and friends. Students exceeded their school’s goal of $15,000 by raising $16,504 to go toward the cost of a new playground, which will cost about $80,000, Vaughn said. Stuart said schools receive 70 percent of the dollars raised from donations that support a health and wellness day for their students. Out of its 30 percent, Sprout provides prizes for students, feeds them and brings in trained people to get students moving, she said. “So that’s the reason why we chose Sprout …,” said Vaughn, who has two children at Huntertown. She said the school’s PTO hopes to partner with Sprout again next school year as well as pursue grant dollars to pay for a new playground.

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