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Students pound the pavement for school

SOLANA BEACH — Donning costumes to complement team names like the Flying Purple Llamas, Green Morta Zombies and Zesty Zebras, students at Skyline and Solana Vista hit the fields of their respective elementary schools Feb. 3 for the third annual PTA-sponsored walkathon to raise money for a variety of programs.Before the event students secured sponsors — mostly family members, friends or neighbors — who either made a flat donation or paid the child a specified amount for each lap completed.

Students at each school were divided into two groups. Each had about an hour to run, walk or dance around the field as many times as possible. Parent volunteers marked a card each time a child finished a lap.

The PTA coordinates a variety of activities at each school, such as Red Ribbon Week, which promotes making healthy choices. It also provides financing for science and arts programs not covered by state funds.

The schools have eliminated nearly all other fundraisers, such as selling wrapping paper and cookie dough. The walkathon, which brought in about $42,000 last year, is the only one that involves student participation. A formal, adults-only gala is also held each spring.