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Running 1,000 miles

- Castaic students run to help hospitalized children

Posted: June 7, 2008 1:11 a.m.
Updated: August 8, 2008 5:03 a.m.

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The students in Julie Slovek's second grade class and Kym Votruba's third grade class at Castaic Elementary School have never been so motivated to run during P.E.

That's because, with every mile they run, they are raising money to help sick kids at Los Angeles Children's Hospital.

"Some years I have kids whine about having to run, but these kids wanted to do it," Votruba said. "They got mad when it rained and we couldn't do it."

The students read articles at the beginning of the year about kids who were being treated at the hospital, and then took pledges from friends and family members for every mile they would run during the school year. The average pledge was a dollar per mile.

Between the two classes, the students ran more than 1,300 miles and raised $1,877 for the hospital.

"I've never had a class run this far, and I think it's because of the pledges," Slovek said. "This have been a very motivating year for them - some of the kids ran more than 40 miles."

Taking a break from his 45th mile - his third mile that day - on Friday, 8-year-old Christopher Fluxa said that he ran so much because he wanted to help the kids at the hospital.

"We're doing it to raise money for the children's hospital, so then they can have medicine to probably get better," said Christopher, a second grader in Slovek's class.

Some students were competing with one another as they ran around the track. Brizette Rudas, 8, wanted to beat classmate C.J. Stokes' record of 12 laps in one day.

"I want to try to beat him, because he has 12 laps in one day and I have nine, so I'm trying to get 12 today," Brizette said. Brizette and C.J. are in Votruba's third grade class.

The students wrote letters to kids at the hospital to send with their donation. Slovek and Votruba were amazed by the amount of money raised.

"I was overwhelmed by the response when donations started coming in," Votruba said.

"I'm very excited with how much they ran," Slovek said. "They wanted to do something for someone else - that was their motivation."

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