SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Many enthusiastic Appleby Elementary School students brought dollars to school on Wednesday, February 1 to buy a piece of duct tape. Now, this wasn't just any piece of duct tape. The adhesive was going to be used to stick physical education teacher, Michael Reid to the wall. This rather unique fun was launched to kickoff the school-wide Pennies for Patients campaign.
Pennies for Patients is sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Appleby Elementary is participating in the student portion of the program which began in 1994. Since its inception, the campaign has reached the 15 billion penny mark. The program encourages elementary, middle and high school students to collect pennies and other spare change over a three-week period. Today, more than 10 million students in the United States take part in Pennies for Patients with the money going towards cancer research. A portion of the funds collected also goes towards providing support for families with members battling cancer and blood disorders.
Appleby's campaign was spearheaded by school nurse, Karen Nesi and fifth grade teacher, Kate Fitzgerald. The pair have organized different activities and competitions such as "Stuck for a Buck." Each classroom is competing against one another to see which one can raise the highest weekly total between the February 1 kickoff and the February 22 conclusion. Classes are awarded with special prizes like a Pajama and Crazy Hat Day, extra gym periods as well as being the recipient of the "Traveling Trophy." The trophy is bestowed weekly to the class that brings in the most donations.
"This is Appleby's second annual fundraiser," fifth grade teacher, Kristen Tempera explained. "Last year we raised $2,788! We are hoping to raise a lot more this year."
The February 1 kickoff with Reid volunteering to be stuck to the wall was a huge success.
"Students could pay a dollar for a piece of duct tape," Tempera continued. "During the lunches, they stuck the duct tape onto our physical education teacher so we could stick him to the wall. This kick-off fundraiser raised $714."
Appleby students will be collecting spare change through February 22. Their school-wide goal is to outdo last year's total. For more information on Pennies for Patients, visit their website.