Students’ pennies add up for fundraiser
The students at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School participated in a little friendly competition while helping another school district last week.
When a fire destroyed a good majority of a school in Seneca for about 275 kindergarten through eighth-grade students last month, GRES students packed their pockets full of pennies to help raise money for the school in need.
Each grade level in the Penny-a-Thon fundraiser had its own container to save pennies, which counted toward a positive total. Bills and silver coins were negative and placed in other grade levels' containers to lower their scores.
Each day, YouthFriends volunteer Matt Gilbert brought the containers to Community National Bank to have the totals calculated for each grade level.
"They were generous enough to run them through their machines and separate them into coin denominations," GRES principal Jan Hancock said.
Hancock then plugged the totals into a spreadsheet, subtracted the bills and silver coins total from the penny total and announced which grade level had the top score each day.
"It was very neat to see them wait for those totals at the end of the day," she said.
And all that loose change added up. The grand total at the end of the four days was $1,639.27. Every grade levels' total score was in the negative range, but the first-graders had the highest score with -29.28. Second-graders actually raised the most money: $440.23.
All students were rewarded with extra recess time, and the first-grade class received doughnuts for their high score. Some students also earned a citizenship charm.
"They did a wonderful job," Hancock said. "We are so fortunate to have such a great community that is willing to help others."
Hancock said she has already notified the Nemaha Valley School District of the students' efforts to lend a hand. A letter will accompany the check sent to the district in Seneca.
The cause of the school fire, which destroyed three-fourths of the 69-year-old building and caused millions of dollars in damages, is still unknown.
The Seneca students are attending classes for the remainder of the school year at different buildings around the town, including the high school and the library.