Virtual 5K is open to interpretation

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BRATTLEBORO — A make-your-own-route 5K is raising money for four organizations in the community.

"I might do it on a treadmill," said Kyle Girard, an eighth-grader at Brattleboro Area Middle School.

Pledges and videos of people participating in the 5K will be accepted until Sunday. Students said the 3.1 miles can be covered by running, walking, biking, crawling or other methods. Information can be found at

Students at the middle school formed teams earlier this year to raise money for The Gathering Place, Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Vermont Foodbank. Participants are encouraged to create their own bibs then take a video of themselves doing the 5K and say what team or organization they are supporting with as much enthusiasm as possible.

The clips can be sent to Chris Brewer, a member of the school's academic support team, at Money can be dropped off or mailed to the school and made payable to BAMS.

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The school has four teams, two made up of eighth-graders and two made up of seventh-graders. Their names are based on constellations, including Draco and Leo. All of the approximately 311 students in the school are included.

The team that donates the most money wins and gets bragging rights. The one with the most participants supporting it also gets bragging rights.

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There's also a contest for best bib. A video on the website features a template for making a bib and more information.

Student Leaders organized a fundraiser called Penny Wars before the coronavirus pandemic hit. The teams would collect pennies in containers for organizations, and silver coins and dollar bills would negatively affect the score but still help the organizations.

About 21 seventh- and eighth-grade students volunteered to be Student Leaders. They filled out an application talking about what they would like to help the school achieve before taking on the positions.

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In an interview by video conference last week, several Student Leaders told the Reformer they have fun and don't always have a lot of focus.

Jesse Ackerman-Hovis said the hope with the 5K is to raise as much money as possible. Participants are encouraged to do the event with friends and family but practice proper social distancing.

Ackerman-Hovis suggested that bonus points should be awarded to those who take pictures of themselves wearing a face covering during the 5K.

Stephanie Pike, science teacher and student leadership adviser at the school, expects student leaders to vote on the best bib once the videos are all submitted. Brewer plans to make and post another video with compiled clips from the 5K.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at and at @CMaysBR on Twitter.


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