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Quil Ceda students support Haiti

Clockwise from top, Quil Ceda Elementary second-grade students James Marteney, Michael Holen, Katherine Hatch and Gracelyn Hudson take pride in their posters promoting their ‘penny drive’ fundraiser for Haiti relief. - Courtesy photo
Clockwise from top, Quil Ceda Elementary second-grade students James Marteney, Michael Holen, Katherine Hatch and Gracelyn Hudson take pride in their posters promoting their ‘penny drive’ fundraiser for Haiti relief.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

MARYSVILLE — Nearly 100 second-grade students at Quil Ceda Elementary volunteered to help those less fortunate than themselves in the wake of the disaster in Haiti, and they literally did it with pocket change.

The day after the Jan. 12 earthquake that hit Haiti, Quil Ceda Elementary second-grade teachers Kathryn Oswood, Karin Perdue and Amy Schaffler all decided to try to raise funds for Haiti relief efforts in their classrooms.

The result was a one-week “penny drive” fundraiser, from Jan. 22-26, that generated $2,586.14 from the entire school, with their own students leading the charge by creating promotional posters for the event, helping to collect and count donations, and announcing daily totals to encourage “friendly competition” between students.

“We’d never done anything like this before,” Schaffler said.

“They pulled together on behalf of a common cause,” Oswood said.

The teachers praised their students for creating eye-catching poster designs, while noting that they all included the information essential to promoting the event.

“They did a great job getting out what needed to be said,” Schaffler said. “They were very engaged, and wanted to know the fundraising totals every day.”

“They still notice Haiti in the news now,” Oswood said.

The Quil Ceda Elementary PTSA helped deposit the morning collections, and with the aid of Coinstar, the teachers didn’t have to count out all the coins by hand after the first day. UNICEF received the funds which were designated for a haiti-specific fund. One student’s parent, who asked not to be named, even matched the funds raised through their workplace.

“By the end of the week, we felt comfortable with the idea of doing another fundraiser like this in the future,” Schaffler said. “It’s good to help the kids process stuff like this. I was surprised by how many of them had seen images on the news of Haiti that even I was disturbed by.”

Oswood added that devoting in-class time to discussing the Haiti earthquake allowed the teachers to sneak in lessons on science and social studies as well.

“The kids took a lot of ownership of this one,” Schaffler said. “Just because you’re 7 or 8 years old doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact.”

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