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Bartlett Middle School collecting pennies for patients
‘Pay a dollar, save a life'
Bartlett Middle School students are in a drive, collecting pennies, and other larger coins and bills to help combat the No. 1 disease killer of children — leukemia.
Spearheading the project is the school’s Leadership Class, approximately 17 students who diligently collect coins from each classroom every week.
“If I can help save just one life, than that person will have a chance at life,” said eighth grader Andrea Valdez. “It makes me feel good to be able to participate in this. This will help the Leukemia Society come up with cures and help with chemotherapy.”
Class adviser Leslie Nicholls said the project has been teaching the students to be a good part of the community.
“It teaches them that they need to help. Whatever they can bring, it helps. It might not seem like much but together we are strong,” Nicholls said. “Even though we’re a small town, we can make a difference.”
A tally next to the school office keeps students abreast of how each classroom is doing. As of last Friday, Crystal Richardson’s classroom was in the lead — with students in her classroom collecting $138.48 in the first week alone. In all, more than 11,000 pennies were collected by the students.
“We’re doing this to help save lives,” said Devin Peeples, an eighth grader. “We have a collection box in every classroom and pick it up once a week, unless it is overflowing. We collected $700 the first week and plan to keep collecting until the end of the month.”
On Fridays, students can help by taking advantage of “Break the Rules Friday” — a day when, for a dollar, students can break one school rule.
“They can pay a dollar and help save a life. That allows them to break one rule — wear a hat, chew gum or something like that,” Nicolls said. “Last year we set a goal of $1,000 and collected $1,200. This year we set our goal at $2,000. We have a lot of generous teachers who will match what their class brings in. We’re off to a great start. Every little bit helps and together we can make a difference.”
It is the second year for the project said class adviser Leslie Nicholls, and she expects to exceed last year’s collection.
“It is amazing to watch these seventh and eighth grade students rally around such an important cause,” said school principal Jeremy Powell. “All the credit goes to our Leadership and Video Productions classes and their advisers Mrs. [Leslie] Nicholls and Mr. [Nate] Wallis. From our emotional kick-off assembly featuring a powerful student made video to our celebration closing, the message that cancer affects us all and you can make a difference in the lives of others is clear.”
It was that message, he said, that has bonded the Bartlett community, allowing students to realize how important it is to be active and contributing participants in the community.
Visit http://bit.ly/12m5aJy to see the video the students created.
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.