Charter School Walkathon

SFA photo/Robin Johnson

Students at the Stephen F. Austin State University Charter School walked around the concourse at SFA’s Homer Bryce Stadium Nov. 20 for the 12th annual Walkathon, which set a school record this year. Supporters and businesses donated more than $24,000 for playground improvements at the school.

The Stephen F. Austin State University Charter School’s 12th annual Walkathon raised more than $24,000, a fundraising record for the school, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re incredibly grateful to our community of family, friends and supporters for their generous giving,” said Jordan Wright, Walkathon co-chair and secretary of the SFA Charter School Parent-Teacher Organization. “It’s because of them that we’ve had such a successful fundraiser.”

The Walkathon is the PTO’s only fundraiser each year. Donations usually go toward transportation for educational field trips, tickets to the Children’s Performing Arts Series at SFA, author visits and social events. The school had to postpone those this year because of the pandemic. Instead, the PTO is considering purchasing a shade canopy and additional equipment for the playgrounds.

“This year’s theme was ‘Walk It Out,’” said Abby Scorsonelli, Walkathon co-chair. “We thought it appropriate considering the times. We had to adapt our typical plans due to the public health situation.”

On Nov. 20, students attending in-person classes walked the concourse at SFA’s Homer Bryce Stadium. Students in each grade took turns walking for 20 minutes while practicing physical distancing.

Family and guests weren’t allowed to walk with the students this year, but the Walkathon was broadcast on Facebook Live for the school’s remote learners and students’ fans to cheer them on virtually.

Four platinum sponsors donated more than $750 each to the fundraiser: Nails 2000, TFP Nutrition, Turner Fabrication and West Loop Animal Clinic in Lufkin.

“I am humbled each year by the ever-growing generosity of our community,” said Lysa Hagan, principal and CEO of the charter school.

“Our PTO and Walkathon co-chairs work hard to engage our community members in our Walkathon, including recruiting many to provide video messages encouraging the fundraising efforts of our school family,” Hagan said. “Their unique ideas certainly seem to work, as our students and parents continually surpass all expectations for our Walkathon fundraising goals. We are so grateful.”

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