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, â€œGive a Heart, Lend a Hand.â€ Each day money is collected in buckets and added to the fund to help those affected by the catastrophes.
â€œIâ€™ve counted pennies, counted pennies and counted pennies,â€ said Reba Gardner, teaching assistant.
Gardner came up with the idea after hearing the studentsâ€™ interest in what had happened to the victims of the disaster.
â€œThatâ€™s all the kids wanted to talk about,â€ she said.
Parents were notified of the project through the schoolâ€™s newsletter, and the dollars and change began pouring in. Every cent has helped, Gardner said.
The many pennies sheâ€™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.
â€œTheyâ€™ve been excited, and they give their ice cream money,â€ said Tammy Cloninger, second-grade teacher.
Cloninger said kids arenâ€™t pressured to donate but seem to enjoy participating.
One of Cloningerâ€™s students, Savannah Elmore, said she likes to give. She had no problem handing over some of her extra lunch money.
â€œI like to give people stuff. I donâ€™t like to keep stuff,â€ said the 7-year-old.
The project will wrap up on Valentineâ€™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 Valentineâ€™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.
â€œI think itâ€™s a good way to teach children how to care about others,â€ she said. â€œWe have a school community that cares.â€by Diane Turbyfill