By Alejandro Dominguez Herald Writer
The main goal was to get them to read.
If they could learn how to help others, well, that would be icing on the cake.
About 300 classrooms across the county participated in the Imagine Children’s Museum Great Money Challenge that started last November.
In this project, each classroom was given a children’s book and a lesson about philanthropy. They were also given $10 to start a philanthropy project of their own.
It was a way to teach students that they can make a difference, said Mark Johnson, fund development for the museum.
“They may be small but they can still make a great impact locally and even in other countries,” Johnson said.
The classrooms that participated in the projects included kindergartners to sixth-graders from nine school districts, including Everett, Monroe and Lake Stevens.
This was the third year in a row the museum held the challenge.
The museum started receiving reports from about a third of the classes last month. Other classes have not sent their reports because their projects are still ongoing, Johnson said.
From the reports he has received, he has noticed a trend. Classes are not just giving the $10 to a charity of their choosing. They actually invested it to raise more money, he said.
That’s what happened in Angela Georgeadis’ third-grade class at Discovery Elementary School in the Mukilteo School District.
Georgeadis wanted to do a simple project and one that helped kids. That’s why the class decided to organize a drive to get mittens for kids.
The class used the $10 to buy gloves. Then, they made posters and announced their drive during the morning announcements. The drive was held before Thanksgiving and ended in early December, Georgeadis said.
The class received 150 pairs of gloves in total, which they gave to Cocoon House in Everett.
The students were happy and proud and of their project, Georgeadis said.
“If everybody gives a little bit, we are able to accomplish bigger things,” Georgeadis said.
Karen Knabe’s special needs class at Mill Creek Elementary decided to use $10 to buy candy canes. Then, they attached small messages to make candygrams and sold them to help a classmate pay for leukemia treatment.
The 11 students raised about $300 in December.
“It was amazing,” Knabe said.
Some other examples:
•Fifth-graders at Emerson Elementary School in Everett raised money for the USO to help supply phone cards to the troops.
Families and classrooms at James Monroe Elementary School, in Everett, raised about $450 to help an orphan school in Arusha, Tanzania.
Three third-grade classes at Dutch Hill Elementary in Snohomish made Christmas gift tags with student art and raised $200 to help the Snohomish Food Bank.
First- and second-grade classes at Cascade Elementary School in Marysville bought materials to make fleece scarves. They sold them and raised $376 to help NOAH, United Way of Snohomish County, Marysville Food Bank and Sixth-Grade Scholarship Fund.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; firstname.lastname@example.org