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Cunningham principal takes ice bucket challenge to motivate students
Ice Bucket Challenge 1
Cunningham principal Tami Truax participates in an ice bucket challenge during the school's Friday Morning Opening and in turn challenged students to be respectful and work hard throughout the new school year. Truax also donated funds to the Turlock Salvation Army in honor of the challenge. - photo by ALYSSON AREDAS / The Journal

At Cunningham Elementary’s “Friday Morning Opening” Principal Tami Truax challenged students to work hard and be respectful every day and then had a bucket of ice water dumped on her head.

“I am not going to take the challenge alone,” Truax told students Friday morning. “I am not going to dump a bucket of water on my head until you take a challenge with me.”

The challenge posed to students was the Cunningham Challenge, an effort created by the school's administration to motivate students to meet academic goals through hard work and respect.

In addition to having students dump a bucket of ice water over her head, the principal donated money to the school’s Parent Teacher Association and the Salvation Army. Truax stressed the importance of these programs since they help other people, including Cunningham students and staff.

Although Truax chose to donate her money to Cunningham’s PTA and the Salvation Army, the ice bucket challenge recently garnered its popularity throughout social media for its connection with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, which is a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Instead, Truax hopes that her ice bucket challenge will show students that if they challenge themselves by working hard every day, they can achieve academic success.

“My hope is that my challenge today will show kids that if they work hard, they are going to  be able to meet academic goals and accomplish whatever they set their minds to,” said Truax. “I wanted to start the year with a mindset that will motivate the students to work hard and persevere to meet their goals.”