Running for a Reason: Raising Funds for St. Matthias
Where are you reading this article? Your phone? Your iPad? Or on your laptop? Wherever you are, you are likely reading this because of the too-often-taken-for-granted gift of a wireless internet connection. And soon, thanks to funds raised by the 15th annual ACE Marathon, the students at the Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle will also be able to use this technology in their classrooms.
- Abbie Greer
The Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle in Lanham, Maryland, is a vibrant school community, bursting with energy and a commitment to learn and grow in Christ. With about 160 students in preschool through eighth grade, the school offers small classes in an intimate, Catholic setting. In 1961, St. Matthias Parish opened the Academy to educate the children of the Baby Boom. Built from simple cinderblock, St. Matthias has welcomed generations upon generations of children. It is that same building material, however—the cinderblock—that is now impeding the school’s progress. It makes it almost impossible for wireless technology, a must in today’s schools, to work in the building.
Thanks in part to the advocacy of ACE Teacher, Lizzie Surat, a fourth-grade teacher at the school, St. Matthias was chosen by the current ACE Teaching Fellows cohorts to be the beneficiary of the 2016 ACE Marathon. Started 15 years ago, the ACE Marathon was founded by ACE Teachers who banded together to run the Los Angeles Marathon in order to raise money for ACE schools in the local area. Since 2002, the Marathon has helped schools and their students in Los Angeles, Birmingham, Phoenix, New Orleans, Pensacola, and Denver, among others.
Organized by the ACE Teachers each year, the 2016 Marathon will be a part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon. St. Matthias’ Principal, Abbie Greer, has engaged the entire school community in appreciation for the financial gift they will receive. Greer and Surat are both participating as new marathon runners, while students have spent this week exploring the work of Catholic schools across the country, watching videos on Notre Dame, learning the history of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and even going on an internet scavenger hunt to answer questions about ACE’s work and mission. The week will conclude with a school-wide Spirit Day on Friday and a prayer service for the Blessing of the Shoes for runners.
Principal Greer reports that the funds raised by the marathon “will enable the school to have full wireless access to support instructional technology for teachers and students by the end of the year.” She will be joined this weekend by Ms. Surat and 40 members of the ACE community in Washington DC. A full listing of the weekend’s events can be found on the ACE website.
While the training has been intense, Greer says that she is more than happy to commit the extra time necessary to run the full 26.2 miles.
“My 26 miles fail to capture the dedication of the Catholic school teacher. The ACE Teachers across the country make sacrifices of time and energy every day,” she said. “The dedication of the marathoners mirrors their commitment to helping Catholic schools thrive.”
Will you be in DC for the marathon? We'd love to see you this weekend!
Can't make it but still want to help? Visit the ACE Fundraising page and support St. Matthias!