Students from school districts across Central Texas will compete at a track meet today to help raise money for local nonprofit organization Communities In Schools.

CIS will hold its sixth annual track meet from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Leo Buckley Stadium in Killeen. More than 500 student “athletes” in grades one through six are expected to compete in the meet.

Participating students will come from the seven school districts served by CIS, which include the Killeen, Copperas Cove, Temple, Belton, Cameron, Florence and Salado independent school districts.

Events will include the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, long jump, 400-meter relay, 1600-meter relay, a sack race and tug-of-war. Individual ribbons will be presented to the first-, second- and third-place finishers in each event. All students will receive a participation ribbon and the top three finishers in each event also will receive ribbons.

“The event promotes physical fitness, teamwork and good sportsmanship,” said Mary Barr, Communities In Schools executive director. “But more importantly, it instills motivation and self-esteem in our students as well as getting parents more involved in their children’s lives. The track meet serves as an incentive for our students to achieve improved grades, behavior and attendance and provide an opportunity for parental support and positive interaction with their child.”

Communities In Schools works to provide support services to economically disadvantaged students, including academic assistance and tutoring, as well as to provide shoes, clothing, food and other basic needs for students and their families.

Some 200 volunteers are expected to attended today’s track meet, and more than 1,000 parents, relatives and friends also are expected to attend. The CIS track meet is open to the public. Admission costs are $2 for adults and $1 for students.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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