WOOD-RIDGE, NJ -- One week before Earth Day, students at Catherine E. Doyle School was searching for a way to raise money for a conservation group while spreading the message of helping the environment.
According to Dawn Caicedo, advisor to the school's Kidz Care Club, Penny War was an idea that came into fruition last year after talking with a teacher at Doyle School who volunteers her time with a local marine conservation organization. Her colleague spends her weekends and summers volunteering on various boats that clean up our oceans and help protect marine wildlife. The goal was to raise money for this organization, since it is a strictly volunteer-run effort.
The way the Penny War works is each day students of the school are encouraged to bring in a different denomination of money (Monday-pennies, Tuesday-nickels, Wednesday-dimes, Thursday-quarters). Students are encouraged to bring in what they can, no amount is too small. Each class received its own change container. On the last day, the money is counted club members.
The goal for this year was to exceed last year's amount of $1200. This year, they raised $1,643. Two classes both raised $190, and each class was treated to a vegan cupcake party.
The overall amount raised and the class winners were announced, by members of the Kidz Care Club at a culminating assembly, where students also viewed a slide show discussing showing how marine life are impacted by lack of recycling and proper waste disposal.
"The students definitely had a lot of enthusiasm about the penny war because they like to see we have a lot of success in the various drives that we do throughout the year," said Caicedo, who's also a special education teacher.
The Kidz Care Club is a group that is made up of about 10 to 15 third grade students They meet twice a month in the morning before school starts. They've participated in or led different activities, including Read Across America Week, Halloween costume drive for NJCares, Doyle Day planning, and a variety of other activities that teach about giving back to the community.
The group's next project will be Kids Tackle Cancer where they will be collecting new toys, Playdoh and books for the Children’s Cancer Center at Hackensack Hospital.
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