Students at Watertown-Mayer Elementary School have been busy this month raising money for Kids Against Hunger to help significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the USA and to feed starving children throughout the world.
Students have been doing extra chores at home, organizing and holding silent auctions in their classrooms, selling suckers at high school sporting events, and buying passes to wear hats in school, all in an effort to raise $5,000 in order to buy food to pack meals to be sent all over the world.
As of late last week, the students were about 60 percent of the way to their goal, having raised about $3,000.
“The last week is always the big push,” said fifth grade teacher Gail Singsank, who is organizing the drive along with members of the school’s student council. “The donations seem to come in like crazy that last week.”
Singsank said the school usually organizes a big service project in January. In the past, it has been Pennies for Patients to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but the school wanted to mix it up a bit this year.
Singsank said the school is focusing on three big initiatives this year. This first was a food shelf drive to benefit the local Watertown Friends For Life Food Shelf, but the aim was to have the second one to be a more global initiative. That’s why the school chose Kids Against Hunger, which uses non-government organizations to distribute food to starving children in more than 60 countries.
Students at Watertown-Mayer Elementary School will be involved not just in raising money for the effort, but also in packing meals. The money raised will be used to purchase supplies for a Kids Against Hunger mobile event, when the students will pack meals at their school on Feb. 19.
Singsank said the students have been very excited and motivated about the project so far.
“They’re very excited about it,” she said. “We showed them a video the first week about Kids Against Hunger. I think that really struck them to see videos of kids in Haiti. I think that made a big difference.”
Singsank said the goal is for each class at the school to raise $200, which would get them to their $5,000 goal. Each classroom has come up with its own ways of raising money. Some students have been doing extra chores or asking relatives for donations. One fifth grade class launched an initiative where students can invite a friend to lunch for $2.
The school also had a hat day, where students could purchase a pass to wear a hat for $1, and a mustache day was also planned, where students could pay $2 for a fake mustache to wear during the day. Through a fundraiser at a high school gymnastics meet, in which students sold suckers, another $341 was raised.
Some classes were finding even more creative ways to raise money. In Singsank’s class, for instance, students organized a craft fair and silent auction. Students made crafts at home, and brought in a combined 57 items for their students to big on in a silent auction. The class raised nearly $150 through that effort.
“It was 100 percent their idea,” Singsank said of the students. “I even had one girl that made balloon animals, and we had parents come in to help with cashiering. The kids had so much fun with it they want to do it again.”
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]