The Team Jack Radiothon turned into a great opportunity to not only raise awareness and funds for a good cause but as a teaching moment about so many things. There were many questions asked throughout the week and we all enjoyed getting involved in this event. It was also a tremendous opportunity to show the power of a small school and a small town. The senior class wrote notes to pediatric patients that were sent to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the elementary raised $847.75 on their own, the junior high kicked in another $180 through their walk-a-thon, there were signs made to raise awareness, and it was a cool moment to all gather together at the Home Agency for a picture as an entire school.
However the highlight of this all may be the actions of the preschool. Below their teacher Jami Garey details the use of this cause in her classroom and the wonderful lessons learned.
The initial goal of Pennies for a Purpose was to raise money for the Team Jack Radiothon. However, it provided the preschoolers the opportunity to increase their knowledge in the areas of social emotional growth, vocabulary, and math. The students were taught lessons about what types of giving there is, how it feels to give, and what it feels like to receive gifts. Through this activity, we had former students donate pennies, we had random acts of kindness, as well as donations from the community and surrounding areas.
The Pre-K students also had the opportunity to compare and contrast different amounts of money and see examples such as: 25 pennies equals the same as 1 quarter. On Tuesday, we were able to take a field trip to Pinnacle Bank where Miss Jenna talked to us about what a bank does and showed the students their coin counter. We had to count one-to-one all the way to 50 and then watch the machine count it too. It was an insightful experience for the students!
To bring the week’s lessons to a close, we were fortunate to have Jim Baldonado and Jacey Edson visit our classroom. Mr. Baldonado shared why he gives and how he feels when he is able to give to people in need. He also talked about his friendship with Jack Hoffman, pediatric brain cancer survivor.
The students learned the meaning of words such as empathy, kindness, and generosity. I’d like to share this note that we received from a parent of a preschooler. I believe this sums up the important lessons learned through the Pennies for a Purpose. “(Our child) brought one very special penny with her to school today. Getting out of the car the other day she found it in the gravel...at first she wanted to keep it and was so excited….but she declared ‘I’m going to bring this to school for the sick kids we are trying to keep in our world before they go to heaven.’ I was so proud of her…. Her wrestling through her feelings and then deciding all on her own to give her special penny away. Yes it is one penny but it meant so much to her. I just wanted to share with you.”
These lessons will last a lifetime.