Deep Run teacher honored for "Marathon Dance" - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

ACTS OF KINDNESS

Deep Run teacher honored for "Marathon Dance"

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Extended applause for the teachers who found love on the high school dance floor and who've sparked a movement that's captured the hearts and souls of students and raised thousands for a dozen local charities. 

"They've raised $612,000 in 5 years," P.E. teacher Kathleen Kern said. 

The Wildcats are all set for their 6th annual Dance Marathon, a dazzling showcase of school spirit. 

"This is the largest turnout to date; 1,000 that have signed up," parent Wendy Shaver stated. 

The high-spirited jam is packed with events to keep teens on their toes from Friday evening till late Saturday. 

"They really are dancing for just about 27 hours," Shaver said. 

"They have parades, they have costume parades, they have dancing events, food, beverage…they have a little bit of time for sleep," added parent Tracy Hines. 

Physical Education teacher Kathleen Kern started "Marathon Dance" and spends months recruiting students and parent volunteers.

"Parents are behind this 100%, the community is behind it; we feed off of their energy," said Shaver. 

Kern has secured sponsorships from scores of local businesses and inspired community fundraisers from bowling to blood drives. 

"She's a hard worker, she is definitely a hard worker," added Shaver. 

The teacher gets help from a steering committee of students guided in every aspect of fundraising.  

"We do everything from decorating, to fundraising, to t-shirts," one student said. 

Every student does goal setting and raises pledges. 

"Last year was the most I ever raised and I raised about $650, and then my dad's company matched it," said another student. 

All the proceeds benefit charities selected by students. 

"We get to call the representative and say, ‘Hey we chose your organization to be a recipient' and they're so ecstatic and I love it every year," a third student added. 

Parents say they want the teacher to know they definitely approve of her lesson plan, so we interrupt the regular marathon meeting for a little show and tell. 

SABRINA: "Thank you for being part of our Act of Kindness presentation to Mrs. Kerns."
HINES: "We can't thank you all enough for everything you do for all of our kids, all of the faculty, all the teachers; we're just so proud, so thankful for this event. And we want to award you and we hope that you will use it on yourself because we know that you will probably try to finagle it back into this dance somehow, but here's your $100, $200, $300 dollars cash."
KERN: "Thank you." 

The Kerns say they want to teach students philanthropy is fun and forever life changing.  

"This dance has really given me the opportunity to teach these kids some more important than they're ever going to learn in my P.E. class," Kern said. 

Something their future Wildcat is already picking up on. 

"Our son has learned to go to all these fundraisers, he's learning at a very young age," she added.  

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