WARREN, NJ - When given the opportunity to collaborate on an Independent Study project for their REACH TOO! class, two fourth grade students at Woodland School decided to use their project to make a positive difference in Warren.
Michael Percario and James Young wanted to create a charity fundraising event, and the American Cancer Society seemed appropriate as both had witnessed the impact cancer has had within their circle of friends and family members this school year. While the students initially set out to raise money by sponsoring a community flea market, their project developed into something quite different over time.
It became a week of themed days at Woodland School, each day spotlighting ways to fight cancer.
They held a “jeans” day to bring awareness about finding out one’s genetic cancer risks, a beach day to remind people to be safe in the sun, and a healthy snack day which inspired Amanda McGrath’s third grade class to send students home with a salad grown entirely in Woodland’s courtyard vegetable garden. Additionally, there was a day for students to say no to tobacco products and yes to fresh air which culminated in them getting plenty of exercise on Field Day.
Students were excited to participate in these events, and the pair raised over $360 in donations from students and staff for the American Cancer Society.
Both boys solved problems, thought critically, and took responsibility for every facet of the project, from making posters and morning announcements to contacting the charity directly and collecting and counting donations. Demonstrating their commitment to the project, the boys even utilized numerous recess periods to work on their project in the classroom of REACH Too! teacher PJ Jones.