Kindergartener Elijah Ortiz.

Spring Charter Schools’ Cherry Valley Homeschool Cooperative & Learning Center’s students are accustomed to waiting in classroom specified parking stalls for their parents after school; however after waiting in the blistering heat at the beginning of the school year, a few students broached the idea of raising funds for a shade structure in the dismissal area.

The Cherry Valley site has grown over the last few years, where they now have 230 students.

The influx of students has caused a logistics issue for a proper dismissal area.

Administrators cone off parking stalls and appoint each classroom a parking stall for parents to pick-up their children.

Spring Charter Schools’ Cherry Valley Site Administrator Tammy Slaten was standing with students while they waited for their parents after school one day when some of the children were complaining about the heat.

Slaten brushed off initial complaints from the students, but one student expressed concern about the status quo when it starts to rain.

The natural progression of the conversation sparked the idea of holding a fundraiser.

“I didn’t promise the children anything though,” said Slaten.

But she did some research and concluded a jog-a-thon would best serve the site because it was low budget and not difficult to plan.

Students collected pledges from their loved ones and promised to run laps at school.

Administrators coned off an area in the parking lot for the students to run around.

158 students participated in grades TK through 8th grade, and they raised nearly $1,500.

Enthusiasm for the event really ran wild when each class recognized a child that ran the most laps and awarded them with art kits.

Slaten also bought a huge teddy bear for the student that raised the most money.

Third grader Danny Ramirez of Beaumont was the proud recipient of the bear, he raised $150 alone, which was 10 percent of what they raised collectively.

When parents heard about the students enthusiasm to raise funds for the structure, some offered to match what was raised said Slaten.

Unfortunately, the site is still $10k shy of what it costs to put up a shade structure.

Slaten is still brainstorming ideas like a future color run or a bubble run in the spring to raise more money.

She’s also looking for labor, lumber or material donations.

Editor Rachael Garcia may be reached at , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x120.


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