What can you do with a penny? One single cent…1/100th of a dollar…can it really make a difference? At Propel Hazelwood, one single penny (added to many, many other pennies) has made a difference, both to the students as well as the community at-large.
Propel Hazelwood’s staff developed the idea of having a penny drive (called the “Penny War”) as an inaugural fundraising activity for the school. Students in grades K – 4 were encouraged to bring their pennies (as well as other change) to school to deposit into their classroom penny jars. The response was completely overwhelming!
From the very youngest students to the ‘big kids’ in 4th grade, everyone participated and, perhaps most importantly, understood the reason that they were bringing their change to school – to make a change in their community.
Teaching philanthropy to children can be a challenge. The teachers at Propel Hazelwood met this challenge with simple, yet powerful, language and explanations. Alex Slaughter, Music instructor at Propel Hazelwood, was happily surprised by the enthusiasm and participation of students. “Our students came to this project with such a sense of purpose. They showed character, enthusiasm and friendly competitive spirit. I’m so proud of the entire Propel Hazelwood family!”
In total, the school raised over $730 over a period of 2 weeks. The 4th grade class raised the most money – over $185! To make philanthropy even more fun for the students, prizes were awarded throughout the course of the event, including a dance party, a dress-down day and a snack day. The goal of the Penny War was to raise enough money to buy and create a community “Little Free Library.” Additional proceeds from this effort ($388) were donated to the Keystone Church of Hazelwood.
The Propel Schools family is proud of the great work with the very first community fundraising event from a brand new Propel School. They’ve now set the bar high – and we can’t wait to see what they have in store next!