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Fourth-graders raise $1,007 a few coins at a time

On Nov. 23 Anne Leque's fourth grade class presented a $1,007.97 check to Arlyss Wilcoxson for the Holiday Angels program. Students raised the money by selling 25 and 50 cent items through the "School-Mart" they started on Oct. 20. The money raised will go toward helping local families with food and gifts this holiday season.

When Teacher Anne Leque challenged her fourth-graders to come up with a service project to raise money for the Holiday Angels program, she never imagined they would earn $1,007.97.

Starting Oct. 20 students sold 25 and 50 cent trinkets and treats each morning before school.

The students "owned the idea" Leque said.

"This project was created, named and manned by my students and exceeded every expectation I had," she said.

Every penny earned went to the Holiday Angels program. The students presented a big "check" to Holiday Angels Committee Member Arlyss Wilcoxson on Nov. 23.

After turning the money over, Leque had students journal about the experience. Among the comments were:

• "I learned that we were helping kids who wouldn't get presents."

• "From School-Mart I learned that you can change people's lives by raising money and caring."

• "I learned how to make change from a $10 bill."

• "School-Mart was a good deed for us. We raised a lot of money for Holiday Angels and the customers got lots of awesome things for 25 or 50 cents."

• "I felt proud that we raised so much money."

Leque is glad her students learned from the experience while making a difference in the community. Leque is thankful for her students, "They constantly teach me," she said.

Although the students did all the hard work, Leque said the project would not have been a success without generous donations from the fantastic "4L" parents and those staff members who donated books, candles, jewelry and Beanie Babies among other things.

Leque said the Parent Panther group donated $50 to her class for the school year, and she used the money to purchase items to get the project started but, "Without (additional donations from parents), the project would have never had enough items to sell."

Wilcoxson said she cried when the students presented her with the $1,007.97 check. She said the students worked so hard and the entire project was "absolutely terrific."

The group of determined fourth-graders have a right to be proud of what they have done to make a difference in their community.

"They gave, they were kind, they were thinking of others and they learned a valuable lesson," Wilcoxson said.