Summit Cove students get muddy for technology |

Summit Cove students get muddy for technology

Summit Daily/Jessica Smith

It was one of those perfect, sunny, cloudless Colorado days. As the sun beat down on the playground at Summit Cove Elementary School, students dashed back and forth, leaping hurdles and crawling through mud pits.

This wasn’t just an ordinary recess; it was the first annual Muddy Coyote event. In the style of warrior dashes and mud runs, the students competed to complete an obstacle course, complete with barriers to climb over and pits to wriggle through on their stomachs.

Summit Cove Elementary has done walk-a-thon events after school in the past, but the Muddy Coyote is the first time the entire school has been involved during school hours, meaning everyone got to participate, principal Crystal Miller said.

“We really wanted all the kids to be able to take part, because some of these kids have never been in any kind of organized race or event or anything,” she said. “So they all get to come down and check it out. Everybody got a t-shirt and lunch.”

Increasing access to technology

In addition to letting the kids have fun, take in the fresh air and get some exercise, the school had another goal in mind.

“Our goal is we would really, really like to be a one-on-one iPad school,” Miller said, “So we did a fundraiser to get us to that goal.”

Miller’s vision is to pair each and every student at the school with an iPad. The iPads would be used as educational tools for in-class assignments and homework. Many of the students worked to raise at least $25 and quite a few raised more than that, Miller said. Local businesses have also donated to the cause.

“It’s taken us very close to our goal,” Miller said, estimating that the Muddy Coyote event had raised enough money for about 40 iPads. Add those to the iPads that the school already uses and “we’re close, we’re very close.”

More mud, more money, more fun

Energy was high as the students waited their turns at the obstacle course. Each grade level went through twice, timed from start to finish. Coming off the starting line, they faced two concrete barriers about four feet high, each with a muddy puddle on the other side. Students then dodged back and forth around erected barriers before rounding the corner to the mud pits. Rope stretched just inches over each pit, meaning the competitors had to get down on their bellies and shimmy their way across to the other side. Crawling out of the mud pit, they then raced up a small hill, around the playground and down a watery slide at the finish.

The mud pits, in particular, were a popular section. Parents, siblings and already muddied students stood on the sidelines, cheering on the racers as they crawled through the muck with varying degrees of disgust and delight crossing their faces. While some held their heads high to keep dry, others made sure to plant themselves face-first and even gathered handfuls of the mud to rub in their hair.

“Gross!” some students yelled, yet with a smile. Others cheered and hooted in triumph. One little boy was heard shouting to his friend, “This is probably the best school day I’ve ever had!”

Andy Thomas was one of the parents at the mud pit, taking pictures and cheering on his two kids, a kindergartner and a fourth-grader.

“It’s awesome,” he said of the event. “The kids are having a blast and breaking into summer.”

The fundraising for technology was also a plus, he added.

Nick Smith, president of the Summit Cove PTSA and co-creator of the event, took a minute from helping preschoolers over the first barriers to express his excitement with the event and its success.

“My daughter keeps running it, I’ve seen her a number of times. My son, I barely recognized him,” he said. “That was the goal, to get everybody engaged and all in the name of ‘the muddier we get, the more money we raise for the school.’”

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