Slime Time!: Waimea students take on principal’s challenge, raise $7,200 for American Heart Association

There’s something alluring about slime.

It’s s oft and slippery, fun to play with and even more fun to pour on someone — especially if you’re a Waimea Elementary School student and the someone you’re “sliming” is your principal.

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For this year’s Kid’s Heart Challenge benefiting the American Heart Association, Waimea Elementary School accepted the Slime Challenge.

Students were challenged to raise a set amount of money in exchange for an opportunity to slime an adult on campus, according to Parent Community Network Coordinator Tania Opamin.

With the school principal being the logical first and best target, Opamin presented the idea to Scott Tamura, who responded with an enthusiastic, “I’ll do it.”

“He’s a trooper,” Opamin said, adding that when people heard about the Slime Challenge, they asked her, “Wait, how did you get the principal to agree to do this?”

“I didn’t have to get him to agree,” she said. “He volunteered.”

It was decided that every student who collected $100 or more would be allowed to slime the principal and volunteer faculty. And while Opamin knew going in that students were excited about the challenge, neither she nor Tamura fully appreciated slime’s appeal.

“From the moment we started, things got crazy,” she said. “The prospect of sliming someone was a huge incentive. ”

Some of the kids earned $100 really quickly then asked, “Well Auntie, if I earn $200 do I get two cups of slime?”

Not really thinking it through Opamin said, “Yes. Sure. Why not?”

When the two-week challenge ended Feb. 14, an impressive $7,200 had been raised, the most money ever collected by the school for a heart challenge. Ninety-one students made donations with 31 raising $100 or more.

To raise money, students completed various tasks including doing yard work and collecting recyclables.

“They got pretty creative just because they wanted to slime the principal,” Opamin said. “That was the goal for them. They just wanted to slime.”

She advised the students they could do what they needed to do with one stipulation: no begging.

“I told them they had to ask for donations in the right way, or earn it.”

The big day

Slime Day was held last Monday, March 9, with the entire school in attendance.

Using flour, water and a little bit of green food coloring, Opamin concocted several tubs of slime and transported them to the slime stage in the middle of the school yard.

En route to the stage Principal Tamura conceded this was his first time getting slimed.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said, smiling. “It’s a very ‘engaging’ opportunity.

”The students have been so excited about it, just the interaction, right? On the first day they were all telling me, ‘Oh I got so much money. One of the students who got to that $100 mark early on came to me saying, ‘Oh boy, I get to do it.’”

Tamura volunteered to be slimed to support the Kid’s Heart Challenge.

“The heart challenge gets our students involved in community activities,” he said. “That’s really what it’s all about … helping our community — not only in Waimea but all over the state and all over the United States as well.

“We talk to the students about being community contributors, it’s one of our general learner outcomes,” he continued. “This activity demonstrates to them that, by their participation they are being community contributors, learning how to be a part of their community and helping their community.”

Slime Day was extra fun for the students because it occurred during Spirit Week and was held on Wacky Day when the students get to do wacky things like wear their shirts backward and put their hair into wacky pigtails and braids.

When slime time finally arrived, the anticipation of the crowd had reached a frenzy.

Principal Tamura, Vice Principal Megan Minotti, faculty members Shirley Revelle, Lori Bergin and Tammy Muranaka took their places on the slime stage, with 51 cups of neatly poured minty green slime behind them.

Kindergartener Ella Freedlund started things off by neatly pouring her cup of slime down her principal’s back. The level of sliming then escalated with the students who’d earned the right to slime increasing their voracity and accuracy with each pour.

As their principal proceeded to become covered in slime the students cheered with some literally jumping for joy. They chanted in unison the name of who should get slimed next while those being slimed continued to laugh and smile.

In short, Slime Day did not disappoint.

Kainoa Horn, a kindergartener who with his $794 donation raised the most of all contributors said, “I liked sliming the principal.”

Second grader Mahina Carvalho was among to first to raise more than $100 said, “I got messy and it was fun.”

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“The kids had fun, the faculty had fun and a large sum of money was raised for the American Heart Association,” Opamin said.

That’s a win-win in anyone’s book.

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