Making math fun for kids can be challenging, but Ventana Vista Elementary School recently figured out a way to get kids excited about learning AND raise money for their school at the same time.
Every year, the school holds a fun and educational Math-A-Thon during regular class hours. Students are given a packet geared toward their math level and challenged to solve as many equations as possible before their time is up. Packets are then graded and students collect money from family and friends according to the number of problems they answered correctly.
Parent volunteer Carmen Mazza explained how the school decided to hold such a unique fundraiser at their school: “There is a really big emphasis on reading and I think the parents wanted to see more emphasis on math. So we sent home a practice quiz packet and… it’s definitely something different. It’s largely conducted during the school day so there’s really no extra setup compared to a typical school day, other than collecting the pledges.”
Ventana Vista’s annual Math-A-Thon had been a regular event for several years. The kids got excited to take a special math quiz on the big day and parents got excited because kids were practicing math for weeks to prepare. It had always seemed like a win-win for everyone. One parent volunteer, though, knew that using an online platform to collect money could help the kids increase their earnings by connecting them with family and friends all over the country. After carefully researching and weighing all of the competitors, parent volunteer Carmen Mazza decided to use PledgeStar.
“Having the online platform was extremely helpful, all of my family is on the east coast,” said Mazza, “if there wasn’t an online portal, I’m simply not going to call… and an automatic PledgeStar email makes it even easier.”
Mazza and other volunteers were thrilled with the online system even before the event was held. In years past, they had to wait until after the Math-A-Thon was over and math packets were graded to figure out how much money was being raised. Once they set up PledgeStar, though, they got excited to see the money coming in right away. Family and friends were pledging flat donations online immediately and students and parents enjoyed watching their totals go up daily as the event drew near.
“Once PledgeStar opened to our donors we started earning money, long before any deadlines we established. You just don’t get that when doing a paper fundraiser. It was exciting to watch it grow. Our treasurer kept texting me saying, ‘Oh my gosh there’s so much money coming in!’”
The faculty, parents, and students were thrilled with their results. The school earned a record-setting $24,000, $10,000 more than previous years.