School fundraiser focuses on building character

Kyan Mickelson (L-R) and Matthew Lundeberg lead off in a student-run Veterans Day assembly. Manti Elementary is holding a fundraiser to ensure the Leader in Me program continues at the school.


School fundraiser focuses

on building character


By Linda Petersen

Staff writer

Nov. 23, 2017


MANTI—When it comes to school fundraisers, most of us think of overpriced wrapping paper, chocolate or knickknacks we don’t know what we’re going to do with.

At Manti Elementary, however, they’re doing something different.

A Leader in Me school, Manti is looking to fund the program going forward. To do so, they’re participating in a Leader in Me fundraising pilot program. They’re the only school in Utah approved to do so.

Kicking off this week, the Lead-a-thon encourages students (there is no obligation) to get sponsors who will fund them in putting some of the skills they’ve been learning into action.

So, instead of buying cookies or wrapping paper, for example, family and friends can sponsor the students for doing the dishes unasked or for drawing a picture of what they’d like to be and discussing it with an adult.

It’s positive reinforcement along with more meaningful fundraising, Principal Karen Soper said.

“They are actually using the 7 Habits in their lives at home and every day consciously,” she added.

The goal is for students to find 10 or more sponsors willing to put up at least $10 for performance of the leadership skills they’re learning at school. No student is obliged to participate. (In fact, everyone who does participate is required to submit a signed permission slip from their parents.)

Students can find as many sponsors as they’d like, and the school even suggests that families with multiple children consider a goal of 10 sponsors per family, rather than for each child.

As they raise funds, students who reach certain individual goals will qualify for different point levels which are rewarded with experiential rewards like lunch with the principal or extra recess, rather than the small trinkets that are often associated with traditional fundraisers.

The top three earners will receive cash prizes.

Fundraisers are traditionally done by the PTA or PTO. In contrast, this one is being sponsored by the school (although the PTO is helping out).

This week, students will be identifying the tasks they could complete or leadership traits they could model and be sponsored for. Then, over the next couple of weeks, they will find sponsors and perform the tasks.

They will even be contacting local businesses to see if they’d be willing to be sponsors.

The goal is to raise $8,000, which would fund the Leader in Me program through another year with a little left over toward the following year.

But Soper is hopeful they can raise even more.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could raise $14,000 and have the program funded for two more years?” she said.

“We’re not selling goods. We’re building character and investing in kids,” she noted.

Community members not associated with the school who think this is a worthy cause can also get in on the fundraiser. To do so, visit Leader.org/manti. From the comfort of your armchair, you can be part of this unique program.

The Lead-A-Thon will go through Dec. 3.