Sunday, March 13, 2011

Every Penny Counts

This past week at school we continued to track my training runs with the distance on the map and with the links around the room. We also began keeping track of how much money is being donated to our project after a students asked how much had been raised. We started discussing how much money we could raise if each of use just brought a quarter or what would happen if we each brought a dollar. The kids were amazing at how it all began to add up even though individually they didn't have to bring a lot.

Later in the day the students return from recess so excited because someone found a dime and another student found a penny. They donated it to our project and added it to our total on the board. One student told the class, "Every penny counts!" I assured her she was correct.

We continue our day with Language Labs and Math Workshops, then we pause to take a bathroom break. I am standing outside the restrooms monitoring the kiddos. I hear some ruckus in the boys bathroom as two of them push through the door at the same time. "MS.BROWN, WE FOUND A PENNY!" My first thought is, "Do I really want you to donate a penny that comes off the elementary school boys bathroom floor?" However, there is no penny in their hands. I cautiously ask where they found the penny in the bathroom. In unison they respond, "In the toilet." I quickly assure them its okay to leave the penny there and we can get one from somewhere else.

I tell the two boys to go back in the bathroom and tell the others to leave the penny alone. They are through the doors for a total of 15 seconds before a third student walks out the door with a dripping wet hand and a penny pinched between his thumb and finger. I had a flash of this student reaching elbow deep in yellow toilet bowl water to grab this penny. He was excited to show me what he had found to donate to our cause! He asks, "Ms. Brown, would you like me to wash it?" I didn't really know how to respond, but I knew I couldn't crush his excitement about making a donation to our project. So I quickly say yes and add in there, "Don't forget to wash your hands too!"

He comes out with dry hands and a dry penny. After sending him to the sanitizer bottle, I talk with him. I begin to tell him next time to leave the penny in the toilet because there are a lot of germs that could make us sick. Before I could get the whole statement out he tells me what he thought was two pieces of valuable information. "It wasn't in the toilet, it was in the urinal." and "I flushed it first before I grabbed the penny." Again, with me not knowing how to respond he suddenly finished our conversation by saying, "Every penny counts" and dropped the penny in our donation cup. The class donated $9.48 this week!

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