By Gary Collins
Pine Bluffs Post 

"Hornet Huddle" uses imagination for fundraising


Members of the Pine Bluffs Elementary School Student Council, the "Hornet Huddle," with an example of their artistry. From left to right are: Taylor McCollum, Ethan Bomberger, Emily Haas, Jason Mickelson, Dalton Schaefer, Shawn Shmidl - Student Council Secretary, Ryan Mohren - Student Council Treasurer, Merina Theobald and Alex Sloan - Student Council President.

Given budget constraints facing the Pine Bluffs Elementary School, teachers and students have become creative when they look to fund special activities. Such is the case for Pine Bluffs Elementary fourth through sixth grade science and health teacher Todd Thompson and the members of the school's student council, the "Hornet Huddle."

"We are always trying to find fundraisers because here we don't have a budget to do anything and so we have to raise money to do different activities with the school.," Thompson said.

For the past several years they have been selling dress-down certificates to the staff of the school. For five dollars, interested staff can purchase certificates for jeans enabling them to 'dress down'.

Last fall, Thompson had the idea of painting pallets as a fund raiser.

"I saw people were painting pallets red, white and blue. I thought maybe we should do one purple and gold," Thompson said. "Then I got with B.J. out at Allwayz Manufacturing and she gave me this plastic stuff that we put on for the field and she designed a vinyl sticker to put on that."

Buzz, the Hornet mascot, is emblazoned on the sticker surrounded by a field of stars.

About 30 pallets have been completed so far, with a final goal of 50. You can call the school for pricing.

They began painting the pallets over Christmas vacation, but they are looking for a time to finish the project.

"I haven't had the kids out to my shop yet," Thompson said. "It's kind of hard to coordinate transportation for elementary students. We're going to get them out there one of these days where we can just paint and try to get 20 more done so we can finish up this project."

High West Energy and Centennial Ag Supply have provided most of the pallets to Thompson and the kids, while others have trickled in, by ones and twos, Thompson having received calls from individuals who have heard of the project.

The goal is $1,500 dollars, which some will be spent on a student field trip towards the end of the year, for what Thompson called a "fun culminating activity."

"Every spring, we take the student council kids on a field trip. We've gone to the Denver aquarium. We've gone to Boondocks and Fort Fun down in Fort Collins, but, this year, we're thinking about taking the kids to I Fly," Thompson said.

I Fly, located in Denver, Colo. is an indoor sky diving facility. It is, essentially, a vertical wind-tunnel which suspends you in the air as if you were falling from an airplane. The scholastic attraction, aside from the entertainment aspect, is the facility has a program wherein a teacher is brought in to offer scientific demonstrations.

"They have a kids program, where they hire a teacher to come in and they teach about STEM: science, technology, engineering and math activities."

Expensive as an I Fly experience may be, if the students reach their goal there will still be money left over.

"Something this big is going to set us up to do some fun things for our school. Maybe we can buy something for our new school, like playground equipment." Thompson said.

In addition, the money will go for other activities during the year, such as Red Ribbon Week, a drug prevention week.


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