Christian School of York leader sleeps on roof after students exceed fundraising goal

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Christian School of York Superintendent Andy Bell greets students as they arrive to school on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Bell spent the night camped out on the school's roof as part of a fundraiser incentive. Tina Locurto photo.

When students attending Christian School of York went outside for recess Thursday, they saw Superintendent Andy Bell on the roof enjoying his morning coffee.

By that time, Bell had been on the roof of the school's building all night — part of a fundraising incentive for students to raise money for new supplies.

Christian School of York's first Laps for Learning challenged students to raise $5,000 in sponsorship donations. If students exceeded the goal, Bell would spend all night camped out on the school's roof.

Then, students raised $9,090. 

"To be honest, I didn't think that goal would be obtainable for our students," Bell said Wednesday. "But they blew it out of the water."

Christian School of York Superintendent Andy Bell greets students as they arrive to school on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Bell spent the night camped out on the school's roof as part of a fundraiser incentive. Tina Locurto photo.

Laps for Learning kicked off in April. Families, friends and neighbors could sponsor a child and donate money based on how many laps they complete around the school's soccer field. 

Donors also had the option to choose a flat rate, Bell said.

Students will complete their laps Thursday, after a commencement ceremony for graduating students.

"It's just a neat CSY community initiative all around," Bell said.

Funds generated in Laps for Learning will be used to purchase school supplies and "adventure Bibles" — a specific kid-friendly Bible that will be used in the classroom and chapel, Bell said.

Each child will have their own adventure Bible that will follow them until fifth grade. At the end of each school year, teachers will write notes in each child's Bible for the children to reflect on later. 

As an additional incentive, students voted on a school faculty member who would show up to school transformed into a human ice cream sundae — which happened to be the school's principal, Christine Huffman.

Christian School of York Superintendent Andy Bell greets students as they arrive to school on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Bell spent the night camped out on the school's roof as part of a fundraiser incentive. Tina Locurto photo.

Fundraising in the first annual Laps for Learning overwhelmed school administrators, including Bell, who on Thursday greeted students as they walked into their last day of school.

"My tent blew upside down and filled up with water," Bell said to students who passed by Thursday. "I'm all wet, my shoes are all wet."

He joked to one student, Grace Thompson, that he was holding her personally responsible for what happened Wednesday night.

The uncooperative weather didn't put a damper on Bell's day — he rushed home to get ready for Christian School of York's graduation ceremony.

"It's a great end to what's been a remarkable school year," Bell said.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.