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Put the FUN back in FUNdraising

In cash-strapped schools, the need for good fundraising ideas is crucial. Many schools are now being tasked to come up with creative ways to raise money for extras such as athletic and band uniforms, field trips, school playground equipment and even classroom supplies.

An elementary school located on the Texas/New Mexico border recently put the “FUN” back into FUNdraising by using their Nintendo Wii during their annual school fiesta. These are desperate times for many schools and desperate times require creative measures.

And what can be more creative and innovative than using exergames to raise money at an event crawling with students, parents and community members? Hortencia Valtierra, the school’s PE teacher, set up a TV, the Nintendo Wii and had the games Just Dance, Just Dance 2, Just Dance Kids and Michael Jackson the Experience available at her fundraising booth.  A dance cost a ticket (each ticket was $.25) per person and song choice was up to the patron.  Her booth was a favorite among the fiesta goers and often had a line of people waiting their turn to dance.

The school’s annual fiesta, runs from 9am to 1pm and raises much needed money for extras that the school budget does not cover. The popularity of the exergame booth helped to raise $200 in just 4 hours. This surprise Valtierra because she had been using the games in her PE class so she wasn’t sure if the students would be excited about having to pay for them.  She was pleased to see so many parents dancing with their children; not only did her bring FUN back to FUNdraising, it exposed parents and the community to healthy gaming options.

Tips and Tricks to pull off an exergame“FUNraisers”:

Think about what events you can add exergaming fundraising too, for example school fairs, family nights, parent teach conferences could be great times to set up a fundraising station with exergames.

Pick games that will have wide appeal and are easy to follow. Dancing games like Just Dance allow for shorter timed play that will allow you to filter folks in and out quickly and maintain their attention. They are also fairly easy to follow and good fits for the novice and advanced alike.

Be a motivator – it’s important for you to encourage play, and show players your excitement. This will encourage them to keep going and other as well.

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Funding Information

© 2013. NMSU Board of Regents. All rights reserved. This project was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the National Research Initiative (Grant #2008-55215-18837).

About Us

The Exergames Unlocked project includes a multi-state team of accomplished media education researchers, exercise physiologists, medical professionals and doctoral students. Contributing members are researchers in their fields and have helped launch the use of exergames as tools to combat obesity in their communities and beyond. New Mexico State University researchers and their partners have been funded to research the impact of exergames, develop specific recommendations for exergame use, and implement exergaming programs. As part of that project, this website provides access to resources based on research, sample projects, and input from the exergaming community. For more information, contact the project director: Dr. Barbara Chamberlin, Professor, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service
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Why Exergames Unlocked?

Why Exergames Unlocked? Exergames are videogames that encourage physical activity. Here, you’ll find the best and most effective exergames, as well as strategies and recommendations on using them with different audiences and in different locations.