East Salem Elementary School students will once again participate in raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and this time for a prize: lunch at Olive Garden.
Sarah Cocowitch, guidance counselor for ESES, said that unlike last year’s “Pasta for Pennies” kick starter to the campaign, which included guest speakers, the students jumped into fundraising after letters were sent out to all students K-5. The fundraiser started on Monday, Jan. 14, and will end Friday, Feb. 1.
“I wanted [the students] to think about everybody’s needs,” she said.
Also part of the fundraiser were sessions Cocowitch gave about the fundraiser, including a Charlie Brown special called, “Why, Charlie Brown, Why?” that focuses on a character with Leukemia.
The fundraiser is part of the “Character Counts” program. Each six weeks, the students participate in a different pillar that focuses on a different aspect in character building. For January, the pillar is “caring.”
The first couple of weeks started very quickly and will naturally decrease as the fundraiser comes to a close. Cocowitch explained that the parents were very supportive and that by the main item being primarily change, it made it easier for parents to be able to help their children participate.
Cocowitch said that the after the Christmas season when most students were in the mind of, “give me, give me, give me mentality, now I want them to focus on giving.”
It can be considered a New Year’s revolution for children.
Last year, the school raised $2,938.27. This year’s goal is to make it over $3,000. To keep the students motivated throughout the entire three weeks, each morning starts off with announcements and includes a fact about cancer or the LLS. The coins are collected every three days and tallied up.
“Eight hundred ninety five dollars [were] collected within the first three days of the fundraiser,” said Cocowitch. “I think they’re off to a great start.”
To learn more about the LLS, visit www.lls.org.
–Kristina Akers, special to So Salem