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Make way for the Brock Elliott Champs
Students from Brock Elliott Elementary School walked the neighborhood streets around the school and Sierra High campus on Friday morning, under the watch of teachers and parent chaperones, in hopes of raising money for programs at the school. The annual activity is called Walk of Champions. - photo by James Burns

Some skipped. Some danced. Some linked arms and held hands. Others enjoyed conversation on a sun-splashed Friday morning.

At each corner, at every intersection, the students, teachers and chaperones of Brock Elliott Elementary School stopped traffic.

Make way for the Champs.

Brock Elliott held its annual “Walk of Champions,” washing the neighborhood sidewalks in purple and gold and filling the air with chatter and squeaky sneakers.

It was a parade, no doubt, whose biggest victory is still to come. 

Principal Debbie Ruger expects the fundraiser – sponsored and coordinated by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) – to generate approximately $15,000 to be divided equally amongst the school’s classrooms.

Ruger said the final tally won’t be calculated until next week after all the donations have been collected. Students were encouraged to collect flat donations or sponsorships from family and friends. Typically, Ruger said, the fundraiser generates $12,000-$15,000.

“Walk of Champions” is the Brock Elliott’s only classroom-specific fundraiser. The money will be reinvested back into the school, where it will support field trips, teacher supply budgets and other expenditures not covered in the budget.

“When we get to that $15,000 mark, we can give quite a bit to the classrooms,” Ruger said. “All the money goes directly into the classroom. This is the one event that dictates how much each of the classes get.”

This is Brock Elliott’s second off-campus “Walk of the Champions.” The event began as a jog- and walk-a-thon on school grounds in 1987.

The PTA decided to take it one step further last year with a neighborhood parade. Younger students, like the first-graders, completed a 1.25-mile route on Friday morning. Older students, like the eighth graders, went an additional mile, completing a lap around Sierra High.

“The kids and parents seem to like it a lot better, so it will probably stay that way,” Ruger said.

She should know.

Ruger monitored the walk from a golf cart, buzzing between water stations and classes along Daniels Street, Winters Drive and Junction Drive. She waved to her first-graders and kindergartners near Roberts Estate Park, soaking up the smiles.

“I think it’s a wonderful event in that we promote health,” Ruger said. “The kids get out in the sun. There’s so much parent involvement. It’s one of those things when the community and the school get together on behalf of the school.”

The event also featured a recycling effort by the school’s Avid program. A note was sent home to parents to leave recyclables in a bag near the sidewalk. Avid students picked them up on Friday morning during their walk.

The event was sponsored by the Brock Elliott PTA and chaired by Regina and Ray Martinez. Board members include Lorraine Lara, Helga Recker, Stacy Ochoa and Pilar Rodriguez.

“They deserve all the credit,” Ruger said. “I was just on a golf cart waving to kids. They did all the hard work.”