Holding his fire helmet and a police car, Landon Olson, one of two Minter Creek Elementary kindergartener winners of the school’s PTA-sponsored fundraising “Spell-a-thon” contest is delighted to sit in the driver’s seat of a Key Peninsula Fire Department fire engine. The other winner is classmate Kaleb Fraioli. Courtesy photo by Jason Olson.

Ty Robuck, Minter Creek Elementary School principal, was proud that two kindergarten students received a fire truck ride to school for being the top earners in the school’s PTA-sponsored “Spell-a-thon Roundup” fall fundraiser held Dec. 9.

Other participants in the fundraiser were awarded their prizes and participation certificates that same week in class.

Landon Olson was one of the two kindergarteners who walked off with top honors and a ride in a Key Peninsula Fire Department fire engine. Kaleb Fraioli was the otherwinner.

“This past fall, our PTA decided to have students do something different for a fundraiser,” Robuck said. “Rather than sell things like wrapping paper, we did the spell-a-thon.”

Every Minter student was given spelling words matched to grade level. In November, each class took spelling tests, which were corrected.

“We held a culminating fall carnival with games, pie-throwing and barbecue ––a fun evening,”Robuck said.

Each grade level’s top earners earned a prize. Each participating student had a shot at a grand prize. The two kindergartners won a ride to school on a fire engine, Robuck said.

“This was a different kind of fundraiser for the kids of Minter Creek,” said teacher Shawna Olson. “As a parent, it was really neat to watch my son practice his words every day. He even got some extra pledges from some friends and family who upped the challenge with more difficult words for him to spell at home.”

Pledges were earned by students who asked family members or friends to pledge money for each word they spelled correctly.

The spelling test was mandatory for all Minter students. Collecting pledges was optional but when students realized they had to take the test anyway they were more inclined to try to collect pledges.

“Landon, who is in Caitlin Nettlebeck’s kindergarten class, raised more than $200,” said Olson.

Assistant Key Peninsula Chief Hal Wolverton said the department was asked to provide a ride to school in a fire engine for winners of the spelling bee.

“The two winners were treated to a tour of a fire station then donned the appropriate gear for boarding the engine,”he said.

Asked how he felt about the ride, Kaleb said, “It was good. My favorite part was when they turned on the sirens and air horn, but the headphones were really cool, too.”

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