Devin Cast capped off his Monday afternoon with a bucket of slime over his head.
The sliming was the key component of a celebration at Felida Elementary School, where students raised $38,702 as part of the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge earlier this spring — the highest final total of any participating school in Washington.
“The community is really caring for us, they want to be on top every year,” said Cast, the school’s physical education teacher, as he did his best to wipe greenish goo from his eyes. “We have a lot of fun with this.”
2022 was Felida’s 35th year participating in the event.
Throughout the monthlong fundraiser, students participated in small activities like completing a daily act of kindness, being active for 60 minutes and learning about lifesaving skills such as hands-only CPR and recognizing signs of stroke. Students would then share news of the curriculum and activities with their parents and community members to help raise money themselves.
By the end of the fundraiser, every student who had raised $500 or more was able to directly participate in the sliming — they’d each get a chance to dump a cup of slime on both Cast and Felida’s principal, Kris Janati. Ten students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade each made the cut and relished in the opportunity to take their turns.
“This is so disgusting,” yelled Janati repeatedly in between screams. “Are we done yet?”
The slime, which Cast was left to clean up after the students dispersed, was made from water, flour and Jell-O — a mixture of ingredients far more normal than it appeared.
Last year, Felida raised $28,456 in the fundraiser, which was a school record until being broken in 2022. To celebrate, a custodian dumped a larger bucket of the same slime onto Cast’s head from the roof.
“This year, I feel like we made it a little more interactive for the kids,” he said, referencing the eager gauntlet of children that he’d just endured.
Next year, he said, Felida’s students, staff and community will look to break their own record and take the state title yet again.