Alma Schrader Knowledge-A-Thon raises money and brain power

Tired of buying wrapping paper, candles, or cookie dough that you don't need? So were the members of the Alma Schrader PTA who hosted the first annual Knowledge-A-Thon on March 10 as a replacement for all other fundraisers this year. The idea was transplanted to Cape Girardeau with the Dave Maxton family who moved here from Wisconsin two years ago. Students were given a list of 100 age-appropriate questions and answers. The questions covered topics in the district curriculum, and were designed so they could be studied at home as well building that important home-school connection. Pledges of a straight donation amount or an amount per correctly answered question were collected prior to the actual event.

Widespread community support made this day a huge success! Volunteers made up of parents, grandparents, retired teachers, and students from the Central High School Honor Society, Future Teachers of America and Student Senate flooded the school to administer and tally the verbal test to 339 students. The gym was filled with the buzz of students exhibiting all they had learned in the classroom and practiced at home. The "testers" were amazed at the amount of knowledge displayed by the children. 30,412 questions were answered correctly for an overall school test average of 89.71% correct. Even more astounding is the $10,345.35 in pledges collected by the students and their families. 100% of the donations will go directly to the Alma Schrader PTA to enrich the teachers' classrooms and the students' learning environment. Donations are being accepted at 1360 Randol Avenue, Cape Girardeau, MO, 63701. Checks can be made out to Alma Schrader PTA to support this event and the future of Alma Schrader.

The bright look of pride glowed on the students faces as they left the testing area, proud of their accomplishments. No student left empty handed. Certificates for free ice cream cones from McDonalds and free game tokens from Beef O'Brady's were generously donated to each child who participated.

Organizers look forward to next year's Knowledge-A-Thon at Alma Schrader. Several other schools have already expressed interest in adapting it to their campuses. Jacquie Maxton, member of the Alma Schrader Elementary PTA and Coordinator for the event, will be putting together information packets and materials that other schools may use to adapt this fundraiser.