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10th Annual ‘Run Back to School’ is more than just a race

“I love my public school.”

That message was scrawled across one participant’s shirt on Saturday, Aug. 26, and was clearly on display at Milwaukee Recreation’s 10th Annual “Run Back to School” 5K run/walk.

While the run brought together hundreds of Milwaukeeans from countless communities, the dedication to supporting Milwaukee Public Schools was the real driving force over the weekend.

“We raised over $20,000 in sponsorships. Plus, with the actual registrations we took in, we’ll probably [raise] another $5,000 to $6,000,” Milwaukee Recreation senior director Lynn Greb said.

“The money goes to [supporting] extra-curricular activities, athletics, the district, youth sports programming, and grants for team uniforms. We can also scholarship students [who] can’t afford the entry fee to be on an athletic team.”

Greb and Dr. Darienne Driver, the superintendent of MPS, spoke to the crowd before they hustled through the race themselves.

“This is a very special week, and very special weekend for Milwaukee Public Schools,” Dr. Driver said. “[On Friday], we held our first annual Alumni Dinner, where we had a number of famous alumni who were honored.

“We are very excited that we have so many community members [who] are supporting Milwaukee Public Schools.”

The runners, who were all of varying ages and racing experience, were simply looking to support MPS on a perfect morning for a 5K.

George Affeldt, who stretched through while the pre-race festivities ramped up, topped off his neon green 2010 ‘Run Back to School’ shirt with a thin red, white, and blue headband. Affledt ran the first Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon nearly 40 years ago, and is still running between 500 and 600 miles each year.

“I’m a Milwaukee resident, and for a number of years I was a soccer referee for the [Recreation] Department, so I thought it was only fair that I gave them some of the money back,” Affeldt said with a smile.

Robert Schneider busted through the tape on Saturday with a winning time of 17 minutes and 20 seconds, but taking home the title was not his ultimate goal.

“My wife and I have a 16-month-old daughter, and we look forward to having her in Milwaukee Public Schools. I just thought ‘hey, it’d be great to do a lot of good for MPS right now,’” Schneider said.

Even though many MPS schools have already kicked off their academic campaigns, the ‘Run Back to School’ is the unofficial marker for many Milwaukeeans. And after another wildly successful event this year, the race will surely return for the start of a second decade of running in 2018.

View some of the photos from the event in the below Facebook post.

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About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2017 earned $62+ million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to seven of the state and nation’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.

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