What is Gator Gallop?
This is John Green's primary fundraiser for the year and a marvelous event for all children to participate in. This event promotes school spirit, team work, and healthy choices, just to name a few. Each grade participates separately from all the other grades. All classes within a grade will spend 30 minutes running laps on our field. Each lap is counted and tallied. The students with the greatest laps completed will be honored at an award ceremony later in the month.
What does each class do?
Typically, the entire class will dress in spirit wear. This can be as simple as a wearing a button, bracelet or headband, or as detailed as wearing identically themed shirts or costumes. Usually, the classes decorate t-shirts the week prior and wear them on race day. Depending on the year, these activities may change. Check with the Gator Gallop chairperson or Director of Volunteers that year.
About 15 minutes before their race, the classes line up alongside one another. There is plenty of excitement and photos taken. Then they head onto the field and begin the gallop (for 30 minutes), where they have a chance to stop and drink water after every lap. After the gallop, parent volunteers tally up the laps counted and popsicles are served.
What am I as a room parent expected to do?
Work with your teacher to identify a theme or idea for what the kids in your class will wear for Gator Gallop. Again, it does not have to be an elaborate costume.
One option is if you decide to paint t-shirts, have the students bring-in shirts from home. Plan a day to have them paint/decorate their shirts.
Alternatively, you can buy the shirts in bulk (Hanes pack of 7 cost $9 at regular department stores). You can paint them, use iron-ons, or have them made. Just make sure that you have budgeted wisely so that you don't use all your class fund on Gator Gallop.
In 2015, the PFC via sponsors provided shirts to all classrooms.
Please decorate the outside of your teacher's door with decorations that are unique to your teacher. You can decorate the entire door, use a poster or banner, or whatever you like - but please only use BLUE painters tape to attach the decorations. Make the door all about them. For example, cover the door with their favorite colored paper then on top of the paper put up something made by the children, or pictures you know the teacher will like, or come up with a theme that is special to your teacher. If she (for example) loves Hawaii, decorate the door with a Luau theme and incorporate something special for the teacher by using something to do with the children. Be creative with this and have fun. We are asking that this be done Monday morning so the teachers can enjoy it all week. No decorations on the wall and no hanging items from the roof.
The door measurements are: 35.5" wide and 75" tall up to the doorstop and 83 inches to the top for full door coverage. Don't forget to account for the door knob which is about 7 inches from the door edge. The butcher paper in the teacher's lounge is cut at that width.
The "cottages" (portables) door measurements are about 80 inches tall (no doorstop and about 1/2 inch of the metal at the bottom), a little less than 36 inches in width (approx. 35.75) and 8 inches from the edge for the door knob.
Some ideas that other room parents have done in the past include:
Your options are endless and ideas are available online (Google and Pinterest are good sites) and from seasoned room parents. Just ask around! But start planning now, especially if you want to have the kids involved.