Miller Heights helps raise money for research
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 by Matthew Girard
Searching under couch cushions, in their parent's vehicles and any other place they can find loose change, students at Miller Heights Elementary School are collecting change to help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
For three weeks each spring through the society's "Pennies for Patients" program," students collect loose change to help fill up their collection boxes in each class.
"It's a service project sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society," said Miller Heights Counselor Susan Holmes. "They are trying to help raise money for research."
Holmes said the program, which Miller Heights has participated in for the past six years, helps the students learn about helping others in need.
"We want our kids to learn the value of service and helping others as part of our Miller Heights Learner's Expectations program," Holmes said.
As a part of the program, each class competes with other classes in the school to see who can raise the most money with the winning class being awarded a "Pennies for Pasta" party at Olive Garden.
"During the three-week time frame, they bring in pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar bills, checks or whatever money they want," Holmes said. "We tell the kids to go scrounge under the couch cushions and other places."
Last year, Miller Heights raised more than $2,000 during the program despite the school being considered a low-income school.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer and its mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
Holmes said this year's program is special because a fifth-grade Miller Heights student will benefit from the money collected.
"It's especially important for us this year, because last year we had a fifth grader diagnosed with Leukemia," Holmes said.
The students also have the opportunity to see how other classes are doing during the drive with collection total posters in the school's cafeteria.
"They absolutely love it," Holmes said of the student's participation in the program. "They love going in at lunch and comparing how each other is doing."
The program started on Jan. 23 and will run until Feb. 10.