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Students at Grace Christian School participate in their first Race for Education, raising over 10,000 for their school.

BENNINGTON >> Grace Christian School in Bennington recently completed a Race for Education fundraiser to raise $10,000 for the new playground and athletics fields.

Students from all grade levels were sponsored to run or walk for an hour on Friday. The middle and high school level students went first, said principal Shawn Smith, followed by the elementary school students. In between the teachers of some of the highest fundraising classrooms competed in a tricycle race, much to the amusement of their students. The money raised will go toward the construction of a new playground, and a multipurpose field that will include soccer goals and football goalposts.

Earlier in the day, the students had participated in their annual Serve-a-Thon, with students going out into the community to help in various ways. They visited the Center for Living and Rehabilitation, Bennington Project Independence, and the Bennington Health and Rehab Center to participate in activities with residents. Others weaved plastic grocery bags into mats, which were donated to the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless. Others made blankets, which were donated to the hospital, while others made cookies for Bennington's first responders. Many participated in the Sole Hope program, in which they turn old pairs of jeans into shoes that are donated to children in Uganda. Finally, another group of students worked to beautify a private cemetery in nearby White Creek, N.


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"It's basically a day to get out and serve the community," said Smith, "It's a chance to show students something bigger than themselves."

This was the first time the school had done a Race for Education fundraiser, and Smith told the students that he would dye his hair purple if they reached the $10,000 goal. He not only did that, he added some Grace Christian blue for good measure. He said that, with the great success, he definitely hopes to use the fundraiser again in the future.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.