Area students shop after ‘Penny War’

Published 4:47 pm Saturday, December 19, 2009

It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and for many that means it’s time for a shop-’til-they-drop spree. Students from Adams’ Southland Middle School headed to Target Friday morning for just that. With $1,300 on hand, Southland’s student council picked out presents for about 150 children who otherwise might have gone without.

The school of about 110 students raised the funds through a five-day “Penny War.” Students tried to accumulate the most pennies for their grade level, sabotaging other grades by adding silver coins and dollars to their jars, which detracted from penny counts. In the final day alone, a tense competition between the seventh and eighth grades brought in almost $900 — which was about the total amount raised last year.

“I call it competition for a cause,” said seventh-grade student council member Anna Bruggeman.

Student council members from each grade walked around Target with calculators Friday. Each grade level was alloted a few hundred dollars to spend on toys to donate to the Salvation Army for their holiday toy drive.

Max Klingbrerman, an eighth-grader, grabbed a giant teddy bear as his first gift. “This is awesome. It’s so fuzzy,” he said. “Some kid is going to love this.”

Meanwhile, seventh-grade student Lauren Hegge and Bruggeman picked out some toys for little girls, specifically they were looking for reasonably-priced dolls. “I was big into the dolls when I was a little girl,” Hegge said.

“And, oh, we have got to get a Barbie,” Bruggeman added.

Seventh-grader Chase Gilson picked out a board game, a baseball bat and some basketballs. “It will be nice to get some sports stuff,” he said.

Eighth-grader Delanie Barnes persuaded her shopping group to head to the book section. “I love to read, and I am sure other kids do too.”

The group picked out a couple of large gifts too, including a bike and an electric drumset.

They also bought some clothes, make-up, pajamas, hair things, and things for babies said Lynn Wempner, Southland teacher and student council co-advisor.

Teacher and student council co-advisor Katie McIntyre said each student will get a root beer float as a reward, and the winning seventh grade class will get to watch a movie during the school day and have a treat.

“It’s amazing that the reward is relatively small and not too special, but these kids put in so much effort,” McIntyre said.

Wempner added, “The competition was key, the seventh and eighth grade really wanted to beat each other, and now they can support such a noble cause,” she said.

Each year the Southland student council completes four to five community service projects. Last month they held a drive for the Red Cross Personal Care Shelf.

They also bought some clothes, make-up, pajamas, hair things, and things for babies said Lynn Wempner, Southland teacher and student council co-advisor.

Teacher and student council co-advisor Katie McIntyre said each student will get a root beer float as a reward, and the winning seventh grade class will get to watch a movie during the school day and have a treat.

“It’s amazing that the reward is relatively small and not too special, but these kids put in so much effort,” McIntyre said.

Wempner added, “The competition was key, the seventh and eighth grade really wanted to beat each other, and now they can support such a noble cause,” she said.

Each year the Southland student council completes four to five community service projects. Last month they held a drive for the Red Cross Personal Care Shelf.