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Home School Walk-a-Thon Instructions and Timeline

Thank you for serving as the Home School Walk-a-Thon Coordinator in your community. Here are some helpful suggestions and a timeline for making the walk-a-thon a success. We developed these as suggestions based on our experience conducting over 70 pro-life walk-a-thons several years ago. Adjust these recommendations as necessary to fit your individual circumstances. It takes 5 – 8 weeks for most people to organize a successful walk-a-thon. The following timeline guides you through the process from when you decide to do the walk-a-thon through the day of the event. We suggest you allow a minimum of 6 weeks to accomplish the tasks below. The seven easy steps listed below provide the basics of what needs to be done to have a successful walk-a-thon. The remainder of this guide contains specific suggestions about each aspect of the event.

Seven Easy Steps to a Successful Walk-a-Thon
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Select a course, date and time for the 5 mile walk-a-thon. Place the information about your local walk-a-thon on the back of each walk-a-thon sponsor sheet. Distribute as many sponsor sheets as possible. Follow up with the individuals who have sponsor sheets to be sure they are getting sponsors. Secure about 3 people to help you oversee the walk-a-thon the day it is held. Spend about 3 hours overseeing the walk the day it is held. Mail the completed sponsor sheets to the Education Alliance.

Walkers collect no money. The Education Alliance will send each sponsor a statement and return envelope for their gift. The Education Alliance will send each support group a check for their share of the proceeds from the event. Prizes will be awarded to the top money raisers statewide.

Week 1
A. Select a course, date and time for the 5 mile walk-a-thon. 1. Selecting a Date and Time a. It will take about 2 and one-half hours for everyone to finish the walk. b. Saturday mornings seem to be one of the best times for walk-a-thons. If you start around 9:30 – 10 a.m. the walk should be finished by noon. c. You can hold the walk-a-thon any time you choose. d. Holding a walk-a-thon during school hours might invite criticism. 2. Selecting a walk-a-thon course. a. Select a starting point with restrooms and adequate parking. (1) Churches, public parks, and public buildings are good possibilities. (2) A starting point with picnic tables provides a nice place to set up. b. If possible, avoid a course that follows busy streets or highways. c. Trails designated for walking, jogging, or biking are ideal. d. In residential areas, try to select a route with sidewalks. e. Check local city ordinances or park regulations to determine if you need permission from officials to hold the walk-a-thon. f. Pay attention to safety by avoiding areas that are too busy as well as areas that are remote or secluded. g. Select a course that is safe for young children. h. Try to avoid unusually hilly areas. i. A route that circles back to the starting point is usually best. j. A course that involves more than one lap around it to complete the 5 miles is fine, but try to avoid too small an area that becomes boring for the walkers.

You may want to review how to fill out the front of the sheet as well as the rules and information on the back of the sheet. Be sure they know that the minimum amount anyone can pledge is $2 per mile. c. If you know of home schoolers who aren’t members of your group. For Information Call: (Local Number) (7). Week 2 A. Since we are collecting these gifts by mail. If possible. Date: (Month and Day) (3). l.k. If we haven’t allotted you enough room on the back of the sponsor sheet for all your information. City: (City or Town) (6). b. On the back of each sponsor sheet we have already included some helpful information for the walkers. place and course need to be established first. consider the availability of restrooms. Recruit a community leader to walk in the walk-a-thon and have home schoolers solicit sponsors for him or her. Time: (Starting Time) (4). Provide instructions for completing the sponsor sheets and information about the time and place of the walk-a-thon. When selecting your course. Note: Details of the date. c. 2. You need to complete this information by listing in the blank space on the back of each sheet the following: (1). c. Type the details about your local walk-a-thon on a sheet of paper and photocopy the information onto the back of each sponsor sheet by running them through a photocopying machine or just write in the information. If they are competing to win the statewide prizes. Call and have them come by your house to get them. a. time. 3. Mail them to members of your group. Additional Info: (Anything Else You Need to Tell the Walkers) 2. Distribute Walk-a-Thon Sponsor Sheets 1. B. Complete the instruction and information blank on the back of each walk-a-thon sponsor sheet. 1. explain the process of getting sponsors and filling out the sponsor sheet to those who will be walking. Here are some suggestions. 3. During hot weather. b. you can photocopy your own instruction sheets and provide one with each sponsor sheet. Every family in your home school support group should be given several sponsor sheets about 4 – 5 weeks before the walk. a. try to avoid areas with no shade. so this information can be photocopied on the back of each sponsor sheet or provided by other means to the walkers when sponsor sheets are distributed. You don’t have to be a home schooler to participate in the walk-a-thon. b. each family may want to put . a. Local Support Group: (Name of Group Sponsoring the Walk) (2). Give sponsor sheets to anyone who is interested. it is hard to justify sending a statement for less than a $10 gift. a. Give them out at meetings. Recruit home schoolers to solicit sponsors for the pastor of your church and have him participate in the walk-a-thon. Place: Where Walk Will Be Held: (Street Address or Name of Place) (5). try to include them as well.

If the mayor agrees. 1. This will assist you as you follow up to see how they are doing at getting sponsors. Many well-meaning individuals will fail to get sponsors unless they are reminded two or three times. 4. the Education Alliance can provide you a sample proclamation for you to forward to the mayor or other official as a guide. 4. Individuals who are not a member of a support group. Promotion of the Walk-a-Thon ( Optional) 1. It is a good idea to keep a list of the names. C. The instructions on the back of each sponsor sheet encourage walkers to let the walka-thon coordinator know in advance that they are planning to walk. a. but who are walking with a group will not be eligible for any prizes offered to local winners unless the coordinator of the local walk-a-thon approves it. Keep a List of the Families to Whom You Gave Sponsor Sheets. Try to check with each family about once a week to see how things are going and to see if they have any questions about the walk. a. Individuals who are not a member of a support group. Ask the mayor to have his office invite representatives of the local media to attend the signing ceremony. Continue Distributing Sponsor Sheets and Follow Up With Those Who Already Have Sponsor Sheets. all the money they raise will go to the Education Alliance. Set up a time for members of your home school group to attend the signing of the proclamation. Follow up is key to making this walk-a-thon successful. Joint Efforts With Other Home School Groups and Individuals. Home schoolers who are not part of a support group may participate subject to the approval of the local walk-a-thon coordinator. b. Be sure each walker designates on his or her sponsor sheet the name of the support group they are walking for. 2. Sponsor sheets may be photocopied or call (501) 375-7000 for more copies. They may list the local support group on their walk sheet and the money they raise will be divided between the local group sponsoring the walk and the Education Alliance. Make an appointment with your mayor or other public official to show him the proclamation and ask him to proclaim the week of your walk-a-thon as home school week in your city or town. addresses. If any walker fails to list a support group on his or her sponsor sheet. more than one home school support group may join together and conduct one walk-a-thon. c. Weeks 3 & 4 A. c. 1. 5. 2. a. Subject to the approval of the walk coordinator who established the walk-course. 5.all their support behind one family member to enhance their chances of winning. b. but who are walking with a group will be eligible for prizes offered to statewide winners. 2. . Have someone designated to talk to the media if they need a comment or interview from a home schooler. 3. and phone numbers of the people with walk-a-thon sponsor sheets. d. B. but this in not mandatory.

folder or large envelope for collecting sponsor sheets. d.a. Invite local media to attend the walk. extra sponsor sheets. markers. Include reminders and additional sponsor sheets with mailings to your members. Do Last Minute Follow Up With Walkers. Week 6 A. b. Prepare for the Day of the Walk (much of this can be done in week 5 to relieve stress) 1. Decide if you are going to have everyone walk together as a group or if you are going to allow them to walk at their own pace. orange vests or caps. a. B. Make yourself a supply kit with: First Aid Kit. 5. A water cooler at the starting point and at the halfway point is a good idea. Walking the course a few days before the walk will also help the coordinator . Make maps or other information that walkers will need on the day of the walk. See if your newspaper will take a picture and run a story on how many participated and how much money you raised. Walking together as a group is advisable along busy streets but not necessary. 7. Recruit 2 or 3 others to help you on the day of the walk. 8. Followed up and know that walkers are getting sponsors B. Larger communities may want to invite TV or Radio media. a. c. b. c. Secure helium filled balloons for the walkers (optional). a. 2. 1. and anything else you think you may need. If possible. Have someone help you phone or e-mail them. Some walkers won’t get their sponsors until a few days before the event. b. b. tape. Someone to collect the sponsor sheets. extra pens or pencils. Take a break if you’ve 1. work like mad to catch up. 2. a. Otherwise. calculator. Someone to drive along the course to offer assistance or transportation back to the starting point. Make any signs or arrows that may be necessary for directing walkers along the route. b. 3. 6. Secured a place to hold the walk-a-thon 2. make one final round of contacts with walkers about a week before the walk-a-thon. or some type of identification button. Distributed a bunch of sponsor sheets 3. Someone to be a course monitor at the water cooler at the halfway point. It would be a good idea for them to walk the course a few days before the walk since they will be working on the day of the walk. Secure some type of refreshments for walkers as they begin and end the walk. c. It is a good idea to make your volunteers identifiable by having them wear matching tee shirts. Week 5 A. You will need more volunteers if the walk route follows high traffic areas or crosses busy intersections. Most walkers like to walk at their own pace. Don’t forget paper cups and trash bags. soft drinks and other refreshments are optional. Cookies. 9. e. 4. Remind them at meetings. The walk-a-thon volunteers and walk coordinator are encouraged to solicit sponsors for themselves to participate in the walk-a-thon.

Do a group picture for the media or for yourself if appropriate. To Do List for the Day of the Walk 1. 2. End of Week 6 A. It is your responsibility to decide if the weather will permit a successful and safe walka-thon. You and your volunteers should plan to arrive at least an hour before the start of the walk-a-thon. be sure and get the name and address of the donor so they can be thanked for their gift.. 6. 11. (3) If the money turns out to be just a donation. 10. Pray and begin walking. Monitor the course until the last person finishes walking. Where the restrooms are located. Assemble the walkers at the time the walk is designated to begin and tell them: a. In some locations. If possible. Some walkers may have collected money. you should probably go ahead and do the walk. c. Check the weather forecast and prepare for rain or storms if necessary. etc. a. (2) Write “paid” on their sponsor sheet for any who have already paid. 7. 3. . g. a. If there is rain only. Let the walkers know that you will announce the total money raised and who raised the most money when they return.) f. h. Where water is located. b. 4. (1) Find out who gave it. or other appropriate indoor facility. shopping mall. b. a. such as a map of the course or anything else at the time they drop off their sheets. 8. 9. the information on the check should be sufficient for us to identify the donor. Set up other refreshments. d. Any assistance you are providing along the course (rides. (4) If the donation is in the form of a check.During the walk have someone tally the amount each person raised as well as the total raised so it can be announced when everyone finishes. have cell phone or two-way radio communication between the person at the starting point and walkers or monitors along the course. 10. e. a. Have a volunteer drive and monitor the course during the walk. Try to have everything ready to go at least 30 minutes before the walk is scheduled to begin. you will need more than an hour. since it will be difficult to get everyone back together. it may be possible to set up an alternate indoor walk location such as a church. Set up a table or place for walkers to drop off sponsor sheets. If there is thunder and lightning or a thunderstorm warning you should postpone the walk or move it to a prearranged appropriate indoor facility. 5. Where the course is and any special instructions. If you have to put up signs and etc. this way you can register early arrivals without asking them to wait. Set up water coolers with cups and trash bags at start and halfway point. b.detect any problems or potential problems before the day of the walk. How thankful you are that they participated. Provide walkers with any necessary information.

5. not by the amount pledged on the sponsor sheet. 2. we will mail each sponsor a statement and return envelope for their donation. Prizes will be awarded to walkers based on the amount of money that is paid by the sponsors of the walker. As soon as possible. Questions and Answers 1. After the Walk-a-Thon 1. Any amount raised is better than none.12. 4. Typically 75% of the donations pledged on the sponsor sheets will actually come in. Prizes 1. What if hardly anyone participates in the walk-a-thon? Answer: The number of participants is less important than the amount each walker is walking for. How much money should the average walk-a-thon raise and about how many walkers can be expected? Answer: Based on our experience doing pro-life walk-a-thons we believe the average home school walk-a-thon this year will have about 25 walkers and raise about $2. 4. It is almost impossible to have an unsuccessful walk. 3. Some groups may elect not to participate. AR 72201. 5. The average walker can expect to walk for about $20 per mile and raise about $100. Be sure to leave the walk course as clean as when the walk began. The more money raised.000. What if the walk-a-thon doesn’t raise much money? Answer: The primary goal of these walk-a-thons is to raise money. We will send out statements each month for three months in a row. keep the copies and mail the originals to the Education Alliance. Most donations will come in during the first 30 days and the remainder will trickle in over the following 60 days. The cut-off date for money to count toward determining prize winners will be 90 days after the walk-a-thon is held. it would be wise to base the group’s decision to do an alternate event on past . the greater the prize. Keep the photocopies of the sponsor sheets in case the originals are lost in the mail. 2. We will keep track of the money that comes in from your walk-a-thon and send your support group a check for your share of the proceeds approximately 90 days after the walk-a-thon. We expect prizes to be awarded within a week of the announcement. 2. One person walking for $200 per mile can make a successful walk-a-thon. photocopy the sponsor sheets. 3. As soon as we receive the sponsor sheets from the walkers in your walk-a-thon. Others may want to do another type of fundraiser to benefit themselves and the work of the Education Alliance. C. Little Rock. However. Afterward A. All walkers that raise $100 or more will receive a prize. 414 South Pulaski. This is perfectly fine. Larger communities will have significantly more walkers and raise significantly more money. Suite 2. 4. 3. B. You may want to keep the copies and provide them to the person organizing the walk-a-thon next year. How the Billing and Payment Process Works 1. 2. Winners will be announced within 120 days of the walkathon. What if some people in a local support group don’t want to do a walk-a-thon? Answer: Of course these are voluntary events.

7. How much money should a walker expect to raise in order to have a good chance of winning one of the statewide prizes? Answer: Obviously. 10. prizes are awarded based on how much money actually comes in. It eases the workload of the walk-a-thon coordinator by not requiring them to deal with large amounts of cash. Only walkers under age 18 are eligible to win prizes. providing the home school community with helpful information on everything from threats to their freedom to how to do a better job of home schooling. 11. This is why so many groups use them to raise money. we hope to make these walk-a-thons popular enough that we can afford prizes for winners in every local walk. These walk-a-thons also provide a way for home schoolers to unite statewide to promote. leading money raisers have walked for about $250 per mile. . not the amount pledged. hosting the annual Arkansas Home School Convention.250 total. Duties include: Defending the rights of home schoolers at the State Capitol. Participants in the walk-a-thon are not being paid to walk. Local support groups can offer prizes to the local winners if they choose. Why doesn’t the Education alliance offer prizes to individuals raising the most money in a local walka-thon. In past years. Why partner with the Education Alliance in these walk-a-thons? Answer: These walk-a-thons are not intended to compete with or replace any local fundraising done by support groups. We are simply providing sponsors with an avenue through which to make a donation to support home schooling in Arkansas. 8. Remember. 9. This means they raised about $1. What will the local support group do with their share of the walk-a-thon proceeds? Answer: Anything they choose. Why not have the walkers collect the money when they get the people to sponsor them? Answer: Letting the Education Alliance collect the money through the mail allows the walker to solicit sponsors over the phone. They are fund-raising events to support home schooling in Arkansas. What will the proceeds from the walk-a-thon be used for? Answer: The portion kept by the Education alliance will be used to fund the operation of our statewide home school support group. 6. helping home schoolers solve problems.experience rather than personal preferences. Eventually. AR 72201 (501) 978-5503 info@arkansashomeschool. Suite 9 Little Rock. For More Information Contact: The Education Alliance 414 South Pulaski. It eliminates the excuse that the sponsor doesn’t have the cash or a check on hand. Many people are more likely to give in response to an event rather than a flat-out request for money. it depends on what other walkers do. 12. Why not have participants do something constructive instead of just walking around? Answer: The walk-a-thons are not community service projects. It increases the amount each person will give. protect and strengthen the rights of all home schoolers. Our experience has been that walk-a-thons are excellent fundraising tools. What if the local support group doesn’t have a bank account? Answer: The group can conduct the walk-a-thon and use the proceeds to open an account in the group’s name. Answer: We are concerned that we will spend most of the money raised in some local walk-a-thons on prizes. They do provide a way for local support groups to help their statewide home school support organization and raise some support themselves at the same time.

If possible work ahead of schedule. This checklist does not include every tiny detail that needs to be done. time and location set. Sponsor sheets given to home schoolers outside your group and other non-home schoolers who might be interested in participating. Week Two Sponsor sheets distributed to all families in local home school group. Five-mile course established. Instructions given to members of local support group regarding the walk-a-thon and how to complete the sponsor sheet. Local walk-a-thon information copied to back of each sponsor sheet. (optional) List made of names. Week One Date. . Week 4 Follow up with all walkers who need it. but gives a general timetable for the key elements of the walk-a-thon. Permission to have the walk-a-thon secured from proper city or state authorities. addresses. and phone number of everyone to whom you gave sponsor sheets. Week 3 Follow up with every family who has a sponsor sheet and encourage them to keep working to get sponsors. Sponsor sheets distributed among any home schoolers in neighboring communities who might be interested in participating in your walk-a-thon.Home School Walk-a-Thon Check List The following check list will help you keep the walk-a-thon on schedule. Talked to mayor about proclaiming home school week in our town for the week of the walk-a-thon. (optional) Media and other home schoolers notified about time to witness mayor signing local proclamation.

Refreshments provided.. Walk-a-thon held. Refreshments worked out. maps made for each walker. Supply kit made. Course walked and potential problems identified or more volunteer helpers secured and instructions given to them. Trash picked up. Weather forecast checked and appropriate arrangement made. All necessary signs and arrows made for walk directions. Sponsor sheets collected and tallied. Day of the Walk Volunteers instructed and on the job. Original sponsor sheets mailed to the Education Alliance. If necessary. Week 6 Final follow up done with all walkers. Estimate made. Refreshments taken care of. . of number of walkers expected. Necessary signs or other directions set up along course. At least 2 water coolers secured. Restrooms checked and supplied Water coolers filled and set up.Week 5 Follow up again with every family who has a sponsor sheet to encourage them to keep working to get sponsors. based on follow up calls. After the Walk Sponsor sheets photocopied. Vests or other identifiers worked out for volunteers.