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Sumner goes to war (for a good cause)

Published 5:48am Thursday, November 22, 2012

Penny wars to aid Sandy relief effort

When it comes to charitable giving, local elementary students are about to put in their two cents.

The student council at Sumner Elementary School will begin its penny wars fundraising Monday, Nov. 26. The competition, which will have classes race one another to add up their pennies and dropping larger coins in other buckets to lower their score, continues until Dec. 14.

“I think it’s going to be really fun,” said Avery Thompson, a fifth-grader in her second year on the student council.

She and the other 20 students on the council came up with a list of ideas for what their penny wars project could benefit, including the Salvation Army food shelves or the children of an incarcerated parent through the Angel Tree program. They decided to reach out on a wider scale because of the devastation and destruction the hurricane had left on the East Coast.

“With the Angel Tree you can only support one family,” Avery said. “With penny wars, you can support thousands.

Avery said she was excited to get started. She recently helped decorate the collection buckets that will be distributed to the school’s 12 classes on Monday.

Students on the council will explain how the penny wars work to their classmates, Student Council Adviser Karla Dooley said. Every Friday, the money will be collected and totaled. The following Monday, announcements will be made to update students on who’s winning the penny war.

A few students got an early start to the penny wars during the One Stop Christmas Shopping Expo on Saturday.

“The kids were telling customers coming in what they were doing,” said Student Council Adviser Tina Strauss. Some of those customers gave them change in advance, she said, but that money will likely be evenly distributed between buckets so none of the classes has a head start.

This won’t be the first time the student council has taken up a collection to help out after a natural disaster. Dooley said the students first did penny wars after Hurricane Katrina struck the southern U.S. That time, they raised more than $300.

While they hope to raise a lot of money to help out victims of Hurricane Sandy, the student council’s advisers said they aren’t focused on an exact dollar amount.

“Ultimately, our goal from this whole thing is not an amount of money,” Dooley said.

Instead, it’s an opportunity for children to practice good citizenship. The student council makes it a regular part of their agenda to look at ways to help out the community.

“We’re just trying to get our kids more involved in community service projects,” Strauss said.



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