March 2015- Northridge Elementary School students have a new parachute to play with during P.E. class, thanks to Milk Caps for Mooola, Longmont Dairy Farm’s school fundraiser. The dairy donates five cents for each milk bottle cap collected by participating schools. The parachute is similar to equipment used by a skydiver, but Northridge students have found other creative ways to use it without leaving the ground.
“The kids hold on to the parachute and can make it go up and come down trapping the air inside. They can go under, around, on [it]. We play games such as Alligators and Lifeguards, Color Run, [and] Camping. . . It is great fitness and fun!” said Northridge Elementary P.E. Teacher Ramona Irvie.
“The idea for the new parachute came because our old parachute was very ragged and had holes in it. I wanted to get a new one, but it was not in my budget,” she continued. “The milk caps program, which Melinda Cameron was so gracious to bring to our school, made it so we could purchase a new parachute.”
Northridge Elementary students began collecting Milk Caps for Mooola in February of 2013 after Melinda Cameron, a Longmont Dairy customer and parent, saw the program advertised in the dairy’s monthly newsletter and suggested it to the school. Elizabeth Morris, the school’s principal at the time, liked the idea of funds benefitting physical education and agreed to let Cameron run the fundraiser.
“I was motivated to volunteer because I didn’t like that the milk caps went to waste each week,” said Cameron. “With this fundraiser, [the milk caps] help the P.E. program earn money and I know the caps are recycled.” To get the program running, Irvie talked about Milk Caps for Mooola to students in her classes, made afternoon announcements reminding students to collect milk caps, sent students home with fliers and included information about the fundraiser in the monthly school newsletter.
After one year of collecting caps, the school had enough money to purchase the parachute. “[The students] were pretty impressed that old milk caps could buy a new parachute. Many of them helped by bringing in their old milk caps,” explained Irvie.
The school has not yet decided what the next purchase will be, but Northridge Elementary students continue to collect Longmont Dairy milk caps for education with the help of Melinda Cameron.