Students at Severance Middle School are saving their pennies and other loose change for a Pennies for Patients fundraiser to support the Colorado Lymphoma and Leukemia Foundation.
The Hawk Leadership Council, which includes about 50 students, kicked off the fundraiser last Monday and asked students to bring in pennies as part of the campaign, which runs through Feb. 28. The school’s goal is to raise $1,000, but there will be a lot of fun competition among the three classes along the way.
Dan Scully, an adviser for the HLC and sixth-grade English teacher, said the students collected pennies last week and are asked to bring in not only pennies but silver change and dollars in the next 10 days.
“We kind of set it up like a competition between the grades,” Scully said. “The grade level that raises the highest amount of money will get an ice cream party. We really have probably around eight to 10 kids kind of in charge at their lunchtime organizing the collection.”
If the school raises the goal of $1,000, the students will be rewarded with a pajama and hat day, Scully said.
Scully said the kids have been receptive toward the fundraiser.
“I think that they’re starting to see not only the reward for their class or the school, but also that it’s a good cause,” Scully said. “Kids are bringing in Tupperware of containers full of pennies and ziplock baggies just packed full. We’re getting a lot of the general student population to contribute right now.”
For the remainder of the fundraiser, if one grade puts in silver coins or dollars in another other grade level’s pot, it takes away from their total.
“They can put larger chunks of change in to take away the total for the class versus class competition,” Scully said. “Hopefully, we’ll see even more money coming in.”
Scully said he thinks a lot of students can relate to the cause.
“It seems like we’re always hearing news about someone whose parents or relative has gotten some sort of cancer,” Scully said. “For me, it’s really nice to see that the kids think about that more than the ice cream party or the pajama day. It seems like there are a lot of kids with a personal investment in that kind of cause, and a lot of teachers, too, that really think it’s a great way to get the kids informed, if not interested, about what’s going on with the cause. In middle school, you see where kids really learn what empathy is all about. I think there is a soft spot in everyone’s heart for that so they want to do what they can.”
Scully said anyone outside SMS wishing to donate should contact the main office at (970) 674-5200 and write the check to the Colorado Lymphoma and Leukemia Foundation, or bring their money into the main office.