ALAMOSA – A penny here, a dime there, it all adds up to young students experiencing the joy of helping others. After 10 days of collecting change, the Alamosa Elementary 3/5 students collected over $2000 which was divided between the Alamosa Food Bank, The Stephanie Miner Imaging Center, the San Luis Valley Cancer Relief Fund, and purchased bags of dog food, bones, and blankets for the Humane League. The students also reached out in Random Acts of Kindness.
Michelle Wilson, AES 3/5 dean of students, said her youngest daughter came home with the idea after attending a high school student council retreat. “I pitched the Penny War/Lesson Staller to the 3/5 leadership team and they ran with it.”
During an assembly, elementary students were told the more change/pennies brought in, the longer it will take the teacher to count and therefore stall a lesson.
“The teachers played along and had fun and the kids thought it was great,” Wilson added.
The students and Wilson decided to donate to several nonprofits. “I thought it would be awesome for the kids to do random acts of kindness at local grocery stores,” Wilson added.
She spoke to the manager at City Market and as customers checked out, students would offer some money to the cashier to help pay for their groceries. “This by far was amazing to watch, customers couldn’t believe what was happening and were so thankful and overjoyed.” One customer contacted the school later to say she will “pay it forward.”
Wilson appreciated Big R for the discount on dog food for the humane league.
“I was shocked by the amount of change that came in,” Wilson added. “The tellers at SLV Federal Bank were amazing.” Each bag of change had to be counted separately because teachers and students needed to know a daily total for their class.
“This experience will ring forever in my heart and it would have never been possible without the support of the families, students and staff at 3/5. We already have ideas for next year.”