On the last day of school before Christmas break, Marion Elementary School fifth-grade students will forgo their usual gift exchange and to give $300 or more to charities.
“Instead of exchanging gifts, we wanted to do something for other people,” fifth-grader Samantha Kelsey said Friday.
Earlier this semester, each student researched a charity and gave a presentation to the class. After all the presentations, the class divided into boys and girls, with each side selecting one charity to support. The girls selected the American Cancer Society.
“We chose it because it helps people who are really sick and helps them get better,” Samantha said.
She said there are many classmates who have had a relative with cancer.
The boys chose the Humane Society. Fifth-grader Devin Soyez said several boys chose to research the Humane Society at the beginning of the project, and they were moved by pictures they found of abused animals needing homes. He said the Humane Society has a goal of not needing to euthanize any animals by 2014.
The students in Shannon Cooper’s and Sarah Waddell’s fifth-grade classes combined to raise about $300 by Friday, with three days of school left to raise more funds, Waddell said.
The funds will be divided between the two charities by way of a quiz show scheduled for today. Questions will be divided between fun and academic subjects, and each question will be assigned a dollar value. For questions the boys answer, money will be given to the Humane Society. For questions the girls answer, money will be given to the American Cancer Society.
The students will send the money raised to the charities, along with a card explaining the project.