Education

Braden River Elementary School student fundraisers 'slime' principals

EAST MANATEE -- Covered in a combination of lime Jell-O, all-purpose flour, shampoo, water and green food color, Braden River Elementary School Principal Hayley Rio and Assistant Principal Samantha Webb looked like "aliens" according to second-grader Emily Davis.

"I just pulled the rope and the slime spilled down on them," she said. "They looked like aliens."

Students at the elementary school who raised $75 or more for a walk-a-thon in October were able to "slime" the principals as a reward during school Tuesday. The Oct. 29 fundraiser brought in more than $20,000 for new supplies and technology for students. The walk-a-thon, which began four years ago, is the school's major fundraiser. Students who raised $400 or more were able to be "principal for a day."

Students dumped more than 124 gallons on the two women, who wore swim caps and goggles to protect their eyes and hair.

"This is an incentive for them," Rio said, using a hose to clean off her legs during a break between slimings. "It's also a chance for us to develop that rapport and that relationship."

One of the community partners for the school helped designed the pulley system for the slimy drenching. Rio and Webb initially considered allowing students to throw cups of slime on them, but wanted something more dramatic and fun.

A bucket was attached to two ropes and secured at the covering of the green top at the school. One student held the side rope in place and was able to lift and lower the bucket vertically and a second rope was given to the student who was able to pull down, turn the bucket over and let the slime loose. If students weren't careful or weren't balancing the rope correctly, they could miss. When that happened, Webb and Rio would cheer. Students were given two sliming chances, once for Rio and once for Webb.

Second-graders C.J. Conaway and Avery Fulk were able to slime the assistant principal and principal on the first try.

"It was really fun," C.J. said. "I thought we would have water squirters but the buckets were really fun."

It was so much fun, Avery was willing to sit in for his principal.

"I want to get slimed," Avery added.

Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.

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