A group of Peachtree Charter Middle School parents are doing what they can to improve their school by planning a race to raise money for a new track.
The grassroots effort started when eighth grade parent Stephanie Holmes was at the track volunteering for the middle school’s field day. She said she couldn’t believe that the crumbling asphalt was the track the students use.
“Some of the moms thought I was crazy because I asked where the track was and they said, ‘you’re standing on it!’” Homes said.
Holmes decided she wanted to do something about it. She coordinated with Caryn Gartner, a physical education coach at the school, to organize a 5K race to help fund a new track.
“Last year we kind of threw it together and were able to raise about $12,000,” Holmes said. “I’ve just been really impressed by how the Dunwoody community has come behind this effort.”
On Oct. 1, the group will host the second annual “Peachtree Charter Middle School CV Classic” 5K race.
This year, the goal is to raise $20,000. Holmes said she hopes that with money from the 5K races over the next two years and private donations, they will be able to collect the roughly $80,000 needed for a new track.
Gartner said the name for the race is inspired by “CV,” or a cardiovascular exercise the students do in physical education class.
“Our kids run on the track two miles every Monday to increase and develop their cardio endurance, which is where the CV comes from,” Gartner said.
The track at Peachtree Charter Middle School is original to the building, which dates back to the 1960s. The school building has been renovated several times and the track has been used to house trucks and construction materials, Gartner said.
“If you can imagine 50 years of growth and roots and grass coming out all over the place, it’s a site for sore eyes,” she said.
The uneven surface is more than an aesthetic concern at this point.
“It’s tough when kids trip and fall on this asphalt track, they come up bloody every time,” Gartner said. “We’re concerned about their safety – we want to make sure they have a safe track to use.”
Holmes said she understands that it is a tough time getting funding from the DeKalb County School System.
“It’s easy to assume as a parent everything will be taken care of with county funds,” Holmes said. “I guess there comes a time when parents can say we can do something about this, we can raise the money, and we can raise the awareness if we have to.”
The registration form for the 5K can be found on the Peachtree Charter Middle School’s website. The race will begin on the track, go through the Dunwoody North neighborhood and end back at the school.
Gartner said she is not surprised that Dunwoody residents have shown so much interest in the track.
“It’s a community that’s very proud of being fit. And our community, they use our track. I know they’d love to have another opportunity to utilize a great track. And it would be open to the community,” Gartner said.