by Jennifer Harter, Public Relations Specialist, St. Catherine’s School
Each Monday morning for the past school year, students in St. Catherine’s lower school in Richmond, Va., proudly brought in their pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and even some paper money. They carried it in sandwich bags, brown paper bags, canvas totes and nearly every container imaginable.
The collective goal of “Make a Change Mondays” was to make a difference in the lives of other children around the world who are in need. Proceeds from the project along with another school fundraiser during the year are being donated to ChildFund International.
The students’ efforts remain true to the spirit of the school’s sacred motto: “What we keep we lose; only what we give remains our own.”
“We made a positive difference in the lives of others by putting our concerns into action and taking on a number of special projects in the area of community service,” says Margaret Bloor, lower school director.
The students raised more than $800.
“It took a long time to count,” says third-grade teacher Ashley Miller, who coordinated the project. “The kids had helped with some, but, wow, there was still a lot to count. It took me hours and I could hardly carry it over to the business office it was so heavy!”
Beyond just raising money for ChildFund, Miller wanted to tie classroom lessons for each grade level to the project. So she turned to the Gifts of Love and Hope catalog for some teaching ideas.
“I tried to choose things that were relevant to each grade,” Miller explains. “For example, the kindergarten hatches chicken eggs in incubators in their classrooms, so I made giving chicks to families for food and income a [fundraising] choice for those girls.
“The second graders study Jamestown, where hundreds of people died of malaria, so I included mosquito nets as one of their choices.”
At the end of the year when the spare change was tallied, each grade level voted on which items to give from the Gifts of Love and Hope:
- Kindergarten: Two desks for a classroom in Kenya or 120 chicks for 10 families in Indonesia. The chicks won.
- Grade 1: Four pigs for four families in Indonesia or two goats for two families in Zambia. The pigs won.
- Grade 2: Sixteen chickens for four families in Zambia or 40 mosquito nets for children in India. The mosquito nets won.
- Grade 3: Twenty-four fruit trees for four families in Honduras or 10 chairs for a classroom in Kenya. The fruit trees won.
- Grade 4: A bicycle for a girl to travel safely to school in India or seeds for three families to start a vegetable garden in Brazil. The seeds won.
St. Catherine’s School is the only all-girls school in the Richmond area for junior kindergarten through 12th grade. An Episcopal school, St. Catherine’s offers a rigorous college preparatory education through a community of teachers and staff committed to fostering the development of the mind, body and spirit.