Crystal Apple winner: Holly Swanson
She’s been teaching at Randolph Elementary and Middle School students for 26 years, and for Holly Swanson, she’s more than just a physical education teacher.
She teaches her kids to practice philanthropy and to volunteer in the community.
In her first year of teaching, Swanson took over the school’s Jump Rope for Heart Event. In 25 years, her students raised $259,000.
“We're still doing philanthropy here in Randolph but now our efforts go to a different group annually,” says Swanson.
Swanson began a new fundraising group for students, called RESOLVE, which stands for Randolph Elementary Students Offering Love and Volunteer Efforts.
“Our focus is typically geared to an organization globally and then something locally,” says Swanson. “Last year we did the firefighters. Nationally, we gave to the Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and then locally we gave to our Randolph Fire Department some money toward the jaws of life, and then we contributed in honor of fallen firefighter Cory Barr out of Sun Prairie.”
This year, her students are raising money to train service dogs for veterans who have experienced trauma.
“We're a small community here in Randolph and connecting kids to the larger world is important,” says Swanson. “I think by reaching in Randolph, outside of Randolph, and then globally is ultimately the best goal in creating citizens that will participate in community.”
Her husband and daughter are also gym teachers, and they were present for Holly to be awarded a Crystal Apple Award.
“What you get inside from serving others is so much bigger, so much bigger,” said Swanson. “If we can teach that to our children, we're going to have lots of examples of people giving to help each other out.”
Her best advice right now, is to find what works for your family, and make exercise part of your family time as a break from other pressures amid the coronavirus pandemic.