December has come around and that means it’s time for ISY’s annual UWS Sports-a-Thon! On Saturday, December 12th, the United World Schools service learning group held the third annual Sports-a-Thon event virtually on Zoom. The Sports-a-Thon has become an ISY tradition since December 2018 and is an integral event to help raise donations for our adopted school in Wan Kaung Village, which is located in the Shan state. This village school was built through ISY’s partnership with the international organization United World Schools.

This partnership comes with a ten year commitment on ISY’s part to raise $10,000 every year to keep the school running. Running includes buying school supplies, supporting the maintenance of the building, paying for electricity and water bills, and paying the salary of a local teacher for the entire year. You can read more about the partnership here

Sports-a-Thon is an activity based, fun event where parents, students, and teachers set athletic challenges for themselves and pledge a specific amount of money for completing that challenge. 100% of the donations go to the Wan Kaung School via UWS. 

For example, Ariya (G6) set a challenge for herself of doing “100 backwalkovers” and Brian (G4) set a challenge of hula hooping for 20 minutes but ended up going for a whole hour!

With the several challenges COVID-19 has brought, one of them was hosting events such as the UWS Sports-a-Thon. Posters were sent out several weeks prior to the event to make sure all elementary and secondary students and parents were informed. UWS members also spread the word by posting on their Instagram page. ISY teachers and administrators got involved by talking about the event in classes and some even reached out to ask students to join their Sports-a-Thon challenges. 

One example is when Mr. Ailes posted his challenge of doing frisbee tricks on the ISY Facebook page and donated 1,000 kyat for every like the video got. And then there was Mr. Fraser who challenged the ISY community on an “umbrella balancing challenge”. Any student who could balance an umbrella on their head for more than 10 seconds would earn 1,000 kyats for UWS from Mr. Fraser. And Mr. Danny challenged the middle schoolers to beat his average distance of movement per week of 350km to 400km! The top four students’ distances were added up, and for every kilometer they surpassed him, Mr. Danny would donate 1,000 kyats.

Ms. Leonardis ran 5 kilometers each day the week leading up to Sports-a-Thon and asked students to join her on a running app called Strava, where kilometers could be run or walked collectively.  

Students were also given a link to a Flipgrid where they could upload their Sports-a-Thon challenges the week leading up to the main event on Saturday. The Flipgrid elicited an impressive 56 responses from mainly elementary and some secondary students. 

Although the turnout at the virtual Sports-a-Thon on Saturday was a bit lower than expected, we still managed to raise over $3,000 USD and counting! Slowly but surely, ISY is getting closer to our goal of $10,000 USD for the 2020-21 school year.

“The fact that we hosted Sports-a-Thon was so that we can make donations to UWS because we still need to reach the $10,000 USD goal. But a positive is definitely the flipgrid where over 50 people have posted, which is great!” Mahika (G11), a member of UWS, reflected.You can play your part in helping these Wan Kaung village students with their education by donating through ISY Online Ordering & Donating web portal. For just $10 per month or $125 per year, you can maintain a student’s education and give them a gift that will last a lifetime!

By Global

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