Laps 4 Labs

To get a wireless computer lab up and running, Balls Creek Elementary students are doing some running of their own.
Students, faculty and volunteers raced around the school track Monday to raise money for a new computer lab in the school.
The project, called Laps 4 Labs, is designed to involve students in the computer lab fundraising process, while keeping them physically fit at the same time.
Students and members of the school's Parent-Teacher Organization were asked to find area businesses willing to donate to the school's goal of $10,000.
PTO president Deanna Ramsey said the response was overwhelmingly positive.
"Most (businesses) we asked were more than willing to help," she said. "It was a very generous area."
Students were also asked to donate money, no matter how small a donation.
"Those dollars grow into $25 before you know it," Ramsey said.
The school tried other fundraising opportunities, such as gift catalogs, but Ramsey said they wanted to try something different. With catalog sales, schools receive only a portion of the profits. The Laps 4 Labs fundraiser, however, allows all donated money to stay within the school.
"Our main goal was to bring it together as a school," Ramsey said of the fundraiser. "We try to do things within schools so we don't have to send a lot of catalogs home."
Every grade level participated in Monday's Laps 4 Labs. Students walked or ran around the outside track and wore matching Laps 4 Labs T-shirts to increase excitement and unity during the fundraiser.
Students created T-shirt design ideas during art class. The final shirt design, a picture of an owl holding a computer screen with students racing around a track, featured the combination of two students' ideas.
"I think it's important to have a computer lab because later in life, you're going to need computers to do just about any job," said sixth-grader Catelyn Shadowens, as she walked Monday around the Balls Creek Elementary track.
The school raised more than $4,000 to purchase a computer lab, and Ramsey said the school will continue to raise money until the goal is reached.
"We really want to make sure kids are able to have the newest technology," she said. "Computers are changing every day."
Students also understand the importance of using technology in the classroom.
"If you're doing a project, you should have stuff to do research with," said Rebecca Goodwin, a sixth-grader. "Computers are something other than books that you can use to help you."
A wireless computer lab will also benefit students without access to computers or other technology at home.
"That's what our world is -- a technology world," Ramsey said. "If we don't have it (at the school), where are students going to get it?"