North Dickinson Elementary School students might just change the quality of life for breast cancer patients with a hefty chunk of change.
In a special assembly Tuesday morning, the school donated close to $6,000 in change and small bills to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.
Four students in a combined fourth- and fifth-grade class - Sam Warren, Clay Warren, Delaney Crim and Tyler Blais - kick started the money-raising effort on Oct. 11 to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
They challenged students in every classroom to participate in "Penny, Nickel and Dime Wars" by bringing in whatever change their families could spare, in addition to any dollar bills.
By themselves students scared up $3,065, said Principal Jeffery Bell.
"The kids really got behind it, and they did an excellent job," said, Bell, who added that he was pleasantly surprised by how well the fundraiser went.
By the time area organizations and businesses chipped in, funds topped out at $5,865.
Carlisle Regional Medical Center, the Tuckey Companies, the Phillips Group and Giant contributed $1,500, $500, $300 and $250, respectively. North Dickinson Elementary School PTO also contributed $250 to the cause.
Bell said the student initiative fared so well he thought it was only fair to reward the students with ice cream cones, and Dairy Queen was more than happy to oblige with a school-wide ice cream party.
Denise Stasyszyn's combined fourth- and fifth-grade class claimed first prize in the fundraising competition, earning a pizza party courtesy of Little Caesar's Pizza.
Second place went to Renee Jones' fourth-grade class, and third place went to Mallory Frank's second-grade class.
The coolest thing about the "Penny Wars" was that everybody was willing to battle breast cancer, no matter what their financial situation, said parent Tom Warren, father of Sam and Clay Warren, the fraternal twins who partially hatched the plan.
"It didn't matter what financial capabilities families had, really everyone contributed," Warren said. "They were all really excited - all four of them - about what they accomplished. My kids had a hard time sleeping in anticipation of finding out how much money they raised. And they actually raised more money than was donated to them, which is really pretty cool."
The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition is a statewide grassroots organization based in Lancaster County that funds breast cancer research as well as patient support services and educational programming for women diagnosed with breast cancer and their families.
Carlisle High School
Puckering up to a pig isn't exactly in her job description, but Michele Orner, director of the Center for Careers and Technology, recently opted to be a good sport at Carlisle High School's last home football game.
Ahead of the game against Central Dauphin East, the CHS chapter of SkillsUSA, a nationwide organization that equips students with leadership and employment skills, sponsored a "Kiss the Pig" contest.
According to the rules of the competition, students could select a high school principal or administrator - for a small price. Each penny donated to SkillsUSA counted as one point, and just before the competition, Orner was leading the pack by a large margin with 9,068 votes. In comparison, the second-place administrator - CHS Associate Principal Michael Black - garnered only 4,732 votes.
SkillsUSA profited from the prospect of puckering, raising $214 for the conferences, workshops and competitions.
Right now, as a matter of fact, CHS SkillsUSA team members are in Gettysburg through Nov. 18 for the organization's Central Region Fall Leadership workshop.
Geared towards students in technical, skilled and service careers, SkillsUSA trainings equip students with what Orner calls "soft skills" that prepare them for real-world work settings.
Katie Kuba covers education and school districts for The Sentinel. You can read her Reporter's Notebook covering news and events on her beats every Wednesday. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her Twitter account Clink_Education or read her Ms. Education blog at www.cumberlink.com.