CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A little penny can go a long way for helping students and staff at Laramie County School District 1.
After donating cash to Arp Elementary’s “Penny Wars” fundraiser last week, students were able to raise $3,400 for the Arp Ambassador and LCSD1’s Parent Engagement and Educational Partnerships with Schools, or PEEPS, programs.
During Penny Wars, teachers received empty containers for their pupils to fill with pennies and bills for points. Classes could engage in “sabotage” by adding a silver coin to another classes’ container, deducting their number of points. The classroom that had the most points at the end of Jan. 27 won a pizza party.
Yareli Felix-Zubia, a sixth grader at Arp, said she is proud of her classmates for raising the most money and points.
“When we were counting, I just kept getting more proud and more proud because it’s a competition,” she said. “If people want to win they have to try harder and harder. … I was really proud of how much people were trying.”
Felix-Zubia said the fundraiser was a great way for everyone to have fun while supporting the school and the district.
“From the time I’ve been here we never raised that much money in such little amount of time,” she said. “This can go to charity and go help people … and it gave us something fun to do.”
Kendal Ceballos, the mentor for the Arp Ambassador program, said Penny Wars instilled a “positive morale” in the kids and brought all the grade levels together.
“When we had sabotage, all the kids would be like, ‘Aw, come on!'” she said. “But the next day they would bring more money, and it was awesome. Everyone was talking about it, and it was just a great way to bring the community together.”
Part of the $3,400 will fund program activities, such as attendance awards or talent shows, that raise the morale of staff and students.
Ceballos said it is heartwarming so see so many families give back to the school.
“I know that our [school’s] families struggle sometimes, so I think this fundraiser speaks a lot about how much money we’re willing to give to help other people,” she said.
Like Ceballos, Laura Fowler, the family engagement facilitator at PEEPS, said she is touched by the students’ generosity.
Fowler received $1,704 from the students this morning to help fund the district’s family resource program. The money will be used to help PEEPS buy toiletries and clothing to supply kids in need.
“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “These families are so generous and so supportive. [PEEPS] hasn’t had a donation this big, ever.”