by Lisa Tome
More than $20,000 in 10 years.
That's how much the Calvert Elementary School's Pennies for Patients to benefit Maryland's Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has raised in the last decade. Every other year in March, Calvert students and staff collect coins.
"The children, parents and grandparents are so generous. You tell them something is wrong with children and they give their allowance," said school nurse Joy Grant, who coordinates the events at Calvert.
As part of the campaign, the collections are counted and tracked on a chart hung in a school hallway. The classroom with the most money collected is recognized and earns prizes. Courtney Wood's fifth graders raised $345.54 and came in first place. Kelly Stevenson's fourth grade came in second raising $249.72. Jen Asbury's first grade came in third raising $243. Parent volunteers Kelly Dickens and Karey Mackie were among those who helped with sorting and counting.
Grant said this event means a lot at Calvert. Students who have attended the school have battled various types of cancer. "The kids at the school are so proud that they helped," said Grant.
Calvert Elementary isn't the only local school working to fight cancer.
Rising Sun Middle School is hosting a two week fundraiser also for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The school's principal, Dr. Stuart Hutchinson, explained that the school's National Junior Honor Society is hosting an event designed to Make Leukemia Disappear.
During lunch shifts, honor society members are selling different varieties of Rice Krispies Treats for 50 cents. Students who support the cause then place their name on a card which is taped to the wall in the cafeteria.
Dr. Hutchinson said this is a first time effort. He said that childhood cancer has impacted the school family.