C.C. Wells Elementary participated in their first Turkey Trot for a Cause, a project-based learning event developed by fifth grade students during their resource classes.  The...

C.C. Wells Elementary participated in their first Turkey Trot for a Cause, a project-based learning event developed by fifth grade students during their resource classes.  The students were challenged with this problem: they wanted to help kids impacted by a hurricane and develop a school-wide event that would raise funds to help with recovery.

The Turkey Trot, held Friday, was developed over a month-and-a-half period. Tyler Harris, a local high school student at L.C. Bird and son of a Wells kindergarten teacher, came to discuss with the fifth graders a similar service learning project he developed the Run 4 Massey 5k. Wells students asked questions and learned from his expertise.

After learning about the regions in the United States impacted by the recent hurricanes, students selected Florida, which was hit by Hurricane Irma.  A school in Hillsborough County in Tampa, FL was selected for support from Wells. The school in Florida caught fire from an electrical malfunction after the extensive water damage sustained by the storm.

In the library, students researched hurricanes and their impact. They developed Google slides to teach others about hurricanes and how to be prepared. In physical education, they developed the course for the Turkey Trot and developed flyers to send home to promote the race and request donations. In Spanish, they created bilingual signs to help participants navigate the course. In art, they discussed the importance of their efforts, how races help raise funds, and the value of their jobs as volunteers on race day. In music, they recorded a song to send with the final project and donations to the school.

The kickoff for the Turkey Trot was held Nov. 8. Fifth-grade student work was compiled and highlighted in a presentation shown at assemblies for the entire school. This taught students from all grade levels about hurricanes, the Turkey Trot, and the school selected for donations. The kickoff ended with a rap from a group of fifth graders. Staff and students were excited for the big event.

On Friday all grade levels ran, jogged, and walked the Turkey Trot course, completing as many laps of the 0.7-mile course as they could in the time given. Students from ages 5 to 12 joined their friends in tackling the challenge. Fifth graders not only got to run the course themselves, but also volunteered at stations, directing younger students and encouraging them along the way.

The Turkey Trot for a Cause raised $1,714.42. C.C. Wells expressed pride in supporting the hard work and efforts of its students and gratitude for the entire school community’s support of this event.