Osceola Elementary School pushes for pavilion through walk-a-thon

By: 
Oct. 25, 2013

The school's Thursday walk-a-thon was meant to help raise funds to build a new pavilion, which will cost about $60,000.

BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCAITE EDITOR

Built in 1958, Osceola Elementary School isn’t the most highly equipped facility in the Volusia County School District. But it’s trying to be.

“We’re trying to raise money for a P.E. pavilion,” said Paula Belfer, a gym teacher who’s worked at the school since 1994. “It’s been a passion of mine. I’ve been trying and trying.”

Belfer, with the help of Jake Howard from Go Take a Hike Walk-a-Thon, a Lakeland company that helps Florida schools raise money, hosted an outdoor fundraiser Thursday, Oct. 24. One of the last schools in the county without a new, covered pavilion, with electricity and classroom space, Osceola hosts this event every two years, Belfer said.

And s far, it has raised about $9,000 from students’ families. But in order to build the facility, it’ll need close to $60,000. That’s why Belfer has chosen to focus more on promoting the district’s half-penny sales tax as a way to raise revenue.

“I’m really trying to kick it up,” she said, surrounded by kindergartners dancing and walking for the cause. “We want to be state-of-the-art like the newer schools. … This can be a community park.”

And already, it serves in that capacity. After sundown each day, the school’s fields and courts are open to the public.

But when the sun is out, it’s another story. In the summer months, even if the temperature is only mid-80s, the courts, Belfer said, reach as high as 110 degrees.

“It cooks us,” she said.

To support the cause, email pabelfer@volusia.k12.fl.us.