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Tuesday May 30th

Public School Foundation raises money for CHCCS grants, scholarships through 5k race

<p>The 5K for Education took place on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Photo Courtesy of Madeline Blobe and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation.</p>
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The 5K for Education took place on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Photo Courtesy of Madeline Blobe and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation hosted a 5k race on Saturday, March 18 to raise money for grants and scholarships to Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. 

The race weaved through UNC's campus, with the route beginning at the Morehead Planetarium and ending at the Old Well. UNC students were on spring break on the day of the race, leaving campus less crowded than usual.

Over 2,000 people registered for the race. About 1,900 people attended the race, and over 1,800 crossed the finish line, Madeline Blobe, executive director of the PSF, said. The foundation raised about $15,000 after expenses, which will go to CHCCS.

The overall fastest runner was Paige Hofstad of Morrisville, finishing with a time of 16 minutes and 53 seconds.

Jake Green of Chapel Hill came in second place with a final time of 16 minutes and eight seconds. Joe Wilson, also from Chapel Hill, achieved third place for finishing in 17-minutes and 34 seconds.

Fleet Feet, a store that sells running gear, sponsored the race in partnership with the PSF. The store provided all race prizes, said Christine Cotton, a board member for the PSF and committee chair of PSF 5k for Education.

Cotton said Fleet Feet also helped market the event to the local community and offered a 10 percent discount on gear.

Blobe said this year, the PSF might be able to give the money directly to schools instead of having teachers and students apply for grants and scholarships, which it has usually done in the past.

"Three times a year we offer grants to teachers for their classrooms so that they can implement programs that they wouldn't have state funding for," Blobe said. "The foundation looks for teachers who are providing innovative and equitable opportunities for their students to receive grants."

Another major goal of the foundation is to give around 75 awards to exemplary teachers each year, Blobe said. 

She explained that PSF funds about 17 scholarships annually for students' secondary education, such as college and trade schools. 

"Every year we award about $60,000 in scholarship money to seniors," Blobe said.

This was the 15th anniversary of the race, and this year was the largest 5k that the PSF has ever organized, Cotton said.

"It was such a wonderful feeling to know that we had a part in giving these kids an opportunity to get out there and run with their families or with their teachers," said Cotton.

Cotton said it was an honor for her to help plan the 5k event for CHCCS and to be a part of a community-building event. 

Scarlett Steinert, director of Healthful Living, Athletics and Driver's Education for CHCCS, said teachers in the school district — especially physical education teachers — help plan physical activities for students to keep them active and healthy.

She added that events like the 5k provide a healthy way for students and families to interact with their community.

"It's a great opportunity for families to come out and do something together. At the same time, it's also a chance for teachers in the schools to build community," she said. 

Michelle Wood, a physical education teacher at Rashkis Elementary School, said she encourages her students to stay active both inside and outside of school grounds.

"We try to encourage the community fundraising as well as the healthy aspect," Wood said. 

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