Charger Challenge – Getting Students Involved with Their Community

 

Fort Caspar Academy’s Charger Challenge came about in 2010. The first fundraiser was for a FCA family who experienced a tragic loss. Kenda Spicher and Caroline Mooren, Fort Caspar Academy teachers, organized a fundraiser and the Charger Challenge took off! That first year the students ran a 5k and members of the community donated gift baskets for the school to raffle off to raise money for the family. The event was a huge success with great attendance including the Windy City Striders, the fire department, and other local first responders came. Due to the overwhelming generosity and support of the students, staff and community, the event turned into an annual charity event.

For several years they continued with the 5k run but as attendance started to decline the school realized to keep the fundraiser alive they would need to make some changes. Spicher explains that the idea of an obstacle course was mentioned and they decided to give it a try. They created a series of stations with both physical and mental obstacles. For the last couple years, Megan Snell 3rd grade teacher has been in charge of the obstacle course. “It’s a fun way to keep the kids busy and entertained” says Snell. They have stations with logic puzzles, a basketball shoot, climbing wall, combat crawl, boot camp, tire flip, hula hoop soccer kick and many more. Perri Shutts, the FCA P.E. teacher, runs the climbing wall station every year. She points out that the event is also about bringing family together, “The students love doing things with their families and when they actually see where the money is going and who it is helping…it is amazing!

This year, in addition to community members donating baskets for the raffle, each FCA classroom created their own basket to include in the raffle. The school held inter-classroom competitions as well to get the students more involved with a prize of an additional recess for whichever classroom sold the most the tickets for the raffle. They also held an attendance competition where the classroom bringing in the most outside guests; parents, grandparents, friends, etc received an extra recess as well.

Each year the proceeds of the fundraiser go to a local charity that is selected by the Charger Challenge Committee. The committee selects a new organization to receive the funds each year. The 2018 recipient was Mimi’s House, an organization that works to provide students in need with housing, food, clothing, and a warm, family-style environment while working to help them become successful in academics and learn the life skills to be successful adults. This year the event was able to raise $10,500.00 for Mimi’s House.

The Fort Caspar students, staff, and parents are extremely dedicated to this event and giving back to our community.  Each year it takes an army of staff and parent volunteers to see the Charger Challenge a success. The course contains 14 stations each of which has two volunteers running it. Every year the Kiwanis Club of Casper makes pancakes to serve during the event and other supplies are donated by local businesses.

FCA 3rd grade teacher, Megan Snell, says the best part about the Charger Challenge is, “Just the generosity. I love giving back to people and I love that we teach our kids virtues. Instead of just teaching them in the classroom about generosity, they actually do it.

The vision of Fort Caspar Academy is educational excellence through a comprehensive, rigorous curriculum and virtuous character development with a strong student-staff-parent partnership. The Charger Challenge is just one of many ways the students, staff, and FCA community work together to see that vision a reality.

 
 

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