One of the educational elements that’s so GOOD at Middlebrook Middle School is the way students there are encouraged to become independent thinkers and look for ways to contribute to their wider community. One week ago, on Thursday, May 5, the school held a creative event dreamed up by a handful of students that mixed fun, fitness and fundraising in an effort to support the Wilton Youth Council.
That event was the first ever Middlebrook color run, called “Color for the Council.” It was the first event of its kind at the middle school and more than 150 middle schoolers participated under the aegis of the Youth to Youth club. Rather than sell goods, the program challenged the entire student body to take part in a fitness initiative with the goals of bringing the Middlebrook community together and instilling a lifelong healthy way of living.
The idea came from the students themselves. A small group of 7th grade students—Kira Howard, Janet Johnson, Libby Connolly and Eli Grass—were in a gym class early in the school year, playing a kickball game. They noticed that the infield dirt was collecting on everyone’s clothes, and one student remarked how it looked like everyone had just participated in a color run. That sparked an idea to host a color run as a fundraiser.
Last week’s Color for the Council color run was an untimed fun run, during which participants ran or walked through four color splash zones and they were doused in color sprayed by Middlebrook staff. The event culminated in a big color “poof” created by the participants opening individual color packets filled with a mixture of cornstarch, baking soda and dye to add to the colorful fun.
“This ordinary, everyday interaction led to an inspirational idea that speaks to the character of our student body,” says Youth to Youth advisor Tanya Leonard. “Without any assignments, expectations, or deadlines, this 7th grade P.E. class came together to create what is shaping up to be an extraordinary event for our Middlebrook community; and, as such, truly exemplifying the notion that character is what you do when no one else is watching.”
The students of the P.E. class, along with Y2Y members, chose this fundraiser as their Spring community service project and the Color for the Council was born, with all proceeds benefiting the Wilton Youth Council.
Wilton Youth Council is a long-standing Wilton organization dedicated to the positive development of social and emotional health of Wilton youth. The all volunteer, non-profit, community organization relies on community contributions to deliver proven programs for all students. Programs funded by the Wilton Youth Council include: Youth to Youth, PeerConnection, PeerVention, CODES, Class Projects and Parent Connection’s Parent Information Speaker Series.