By Maya Pottiger
George Fox Middle School is gearing up for this year’s Cool Schools Plunge, which will be held on Thursday, January 24.
This year, the middle school is bringing 80 students to the plunge.
“The plunge is intended to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics,” said George Fox Middle School Principal Russ Austin. “Our students have always shown a heightened level of care and concern for our students with special needs.”
Health and physical education teacher Michele Fenner is overseeing the school’s team, Frozen Foxes, this year.
“Since I teach every student in the building, I continually hype everything up and put announcements in and put it out all over the place,” Fenner said.
Fenner was interested in heading this fundraiser due to her lifelong connection with Special Olympics Maryland. From growing up with a boy who was in Special Olympics to teaching the special education program at Old Mill High School, Fenner has always been involved with the organization.
“All my life, I feel like I’ve always been connected with those kids,” Fenner said.
To participate in the plunge, students must raise a minimum of $75. This gets them a sweatshirt, lunch and a bus to the plunge, Fenner said.
As an added incentive to encourage students to participate, a few teachers have agreed to plunge.
“There are a couple teachers in the school who have said, ‘If I can get my homeroom 100 percent to participate, I will go and plunge,’” Fenner said. “So we have a couple teachers who are going to plunge, too. I plunge, as well.”
George Fox Middle School has made a name for itself during Harvest of the Hungry. In last year’s competition, George Fox beat 422 schools to collect the most food in Maryland, ultimately donating 11,093 pounds of food.
Fenner is hoping that, over the years, the Cool Schools Plunge will gain the traction that Harvest for the Hungry has.
“The plunge has gained traction through the years,” Austin said. “Our students love working toward a cause.”
The Cool Schools Plunge on January 24 is open only to school officials and students. Students plunge around noon.