Get colorful and support learning opportunities in Waseca with the Color Dash.
The Color Dash 5K Run/Walk occurs Oct. 2 at Waseca Intermediate School. The event benefits Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest.
Junior Achievement provides personal finance, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs to students in grades K-12.
According to the Color Dash website, the cost for Junior Achievement programs for Waseca students in grades K-4 is $15,000 dollars.
"We provide our programs free to local schools through corporate and individual donations, foundation grants, and fundraising events," the site says. "Programs are delivered by a trained volunteer. Each program costs $500 per classroom to deliver including hands-on learning materials for all students and volunteer training."
Anyone wishing to help provide these programs can participate in the Color Dash at WIS.
"The Color Dash is a family friendly, untimed 5K Run/Walk, which welcomes all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities," said Laura Heyne, Junior Achievement district manager for Waseca and Owatonna.
Participants start the approximately 3.1 mile run/walk with white T-shirts and at each kilometer get covered with colors including blue, green, yellow, orange and pink.
Fifty percent of the profit from every Color Dash ticket sold goes to support Junior Achievement programs.
During the 2015-16 school year, Junior Achievement programs were provided in 30 Waseca classrooms at Hartley Elementary School, WIS, Sacred Heart School and Waseca Junior/Senior High School.
Heyne says Junior Achievement expects to increase the number of classrooms this year as programming is built into the fifth grade at WIS.
"All Junior Achievement programs are designed to educate students in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship," Heyne said. "While these programs can be used in a stand-alone capacity, learning gains are strengthened when delivered year after year and lesson concepts build on the previous year’s program."
For example, Heyne says kindergarteners learn about different types of money and how to set a savings goal, first graders define needs versus wants, second graders learn about receiving a paycheck for work done and how taxes work to benefit the community, third graders learn about checking accounts and debit versus credit, and so on.
The program uses volunteers from the community who come in to the classrooms and share their experience.
Hartley teacher Patty Altman in November 2015 said that having a community member speak about adult realities drives the point home for students.
"It’s been engaging and educational to have a community member talk about the community and how you make a living,” Altman said. "(Students have) been learning about banking, credit cards, having money in the bank ... (Junior Achievement) has been incorporating lots of real-world knowledge, and there’s been lots of small group work, so they’re very engaged.”
All of this is designed to help students become successful adults.
"Our goal is to create productive and responsible citizens who can manage their own money, get and keep a job and contribute to the community," Heyne said.
Heyne encourages anybody interested in seeing these programs continue in Waseca schools to consider participating in the event.
"With your participation, you will be helping to continue and extend a valuable learning opportunity to local students," she said.