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Love Memorial Elementary aids tsunami victims

Children at Love Memorial Elementary School are lending a hand to victims of the South East Asia tsunamis.
Staff and students recently started a service project, “Give a Heart, Lend a Hand.” Each day money is collected in buckets and added to the fund to help those affected by the catastrophes.
“I’ve counted pennies, counted pennies and counted pennies,” said Reba Gardner, teaching assistant.
Gardner came up with the idea after hearing the students’ interest in what had happened to the victims of the disaster.
“That’s all the kids wanted to talk about,” she said.
Parents were notified of the project through the school’s newsletter, and the dollars and change began pouring in. Every cent has helped, Gardner said.
The many pennies she’s counted have already added up to just under $700.
Teachers have posted banners outside of their classrooms with the project logo. Students get to put their hand prints and names on the banners when they make a contribution.
“They’ve been excited, and they give their ice cream money,” said Tammy Cloninger, second-grade teacher.
Cloninger said kids aren’t pressured to donate but seem to enjoy participating.
One of Cloninger’s students, Savannah Elmore, said she likes to give. She had no problem handing over some of her extra lunch money.
“I like to give people stuff. I don’t like to keep stuff,” said the 7-year-old.
The project will wrap up on Valentine’s Day. Faculty will decide which charitable organization will receive the money.
The banners will then be taken down and connected in front of the school on Valentine’s Day. The children will have a visible display of their achievement.
Money collected and banners decorated will be lasting proof of a job well done, said Principal Diand Canipe.
“I think it’s a good way to teach children how to care about others,” she said. “We have a school community that cares.”by Diane Turbyfill

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