FLORIDA, Mass. — The Gabriel Abbott Memorial School community raised $808.08 through its Penny Delay Day. Although ir caused a bit of work for teachers, the drive has helped support an important regional agency.
"The trick of getting them to bring more money in was we couldn't start teaching until we counted the change," Denise Chesbro, second-grade teacher and assistant principal said. "We made it educational with math games, but the kids loved it."
She said the fundraiser was schoolwide and took place on April 3 when students were asked to bring in pennies or other change. She said they actually raised around $750, but a teacher wanted to round out the total to 808.08 so kicked in the rest.
"It was families, it was kids, teachers, anybody who wanted to do it," she said. "It's pretty impressive for this tiny little school."
She said there were only eight bills in the collection — the rest was all change.
Some students did help with the counting and organizing which was OK because there were important math lessons to be learned.
"Some of them helped us sort quarters, nickels, dimes —which is good," she said. "There is a lesson there."
But more importantly, students learned a lesson in civics.
"It shows them that not everybody has what they need. And these people, who have served our country, might not have enough," she said. "They were really enthusiastic about it."
To thank the students for their hard work, Veterans Agent Stephen Roy and assistant Tina Samson held a pizza party for the school Friday.
"It is really wonderful what you all have done and helped make happen here," Roy said. "It is wonderful to be able to put food on the shelves for folks in need."
Roy added after that every little bit counts and there is always a need for more support.
"And there is what we get from food bank donations and things but a lot of that has dried up," Roy said. "Now it is more donations and stuff like this really helps our food bank in a big way."