Students at Roosevelt Elementary School know how to help each other and aren't afraid to do it.
Raising nearly $30,000 in the more than 10 years the school has participated in collecting coins to benefit children with blood cancer diseases, the school was recently honored by the Northern Ohio Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as the number two school in northern Ohio. Students, parents and teachers collected coins during a three week period in February, exceeding their goal of $3,800.
''This is a perfect example of children helping other kids,'' said Melissa Werbach, campaign manager with the Northern Ohio Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Roosevelt Elementary School in Hubbard was recognized by the Northern Ohio Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for taking part in the Pasta for Pennies program sponsored nationally by Olive Garden Restaurants. Roosevelt was the No. 2 school in northern Ohio to help raise money. Pictured from left are: Sheryl Marsh, Roosevelt Parents Association; Robin Fette, Roosevelt Assistant Principal; Ray Soloman, Principal; Kelly Schaffer, Pasta for Pennies chairperson; and Melissa Werbach, campaign manager.
Roosevelt is one of the top fundraising schools in northern Ohio for the Pasta for Pennies Program, sponsored nationally by Olive Garden Restaurants, Werbach said.
Raising more than $36 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Pasta for Pennies is a national fundraising program in which more than two million elementary, middle and high school students participate to support the fight against blood-related cancers.
Approximately 720 students at Roosevelt in grades pre-kindergarten through fourth participate by dropping coins into boxes placed in their classrooms. Coins are donated by parents, teachers, school staff and the children themselves, who work to meet the challenges set up by administrators.
Last year, Roosevelt Principal Ray Soloman and Assistant Principal Robin Fette, were forced to wear the football jersey of each other's favorite team if students met their goal.
Students not only met the goal, but exceeded it, Fette said.
Olive Garden grants a pasta lunch to the classroom that raises the most in coin donations, but the students don't stop giving even after they've won. For the past several years, winning classrooms have donated the lunches to school crossing guards, fire and police departments.
''We work on building characterization as one of the six pillars of education promoted by our guidance counselors,'' Soloman said.
Since 1994, Pasta for Pennies has raised more than $42 million to fight leukemia and lymphoma and to provide a wide range of services to patients and their families.
''The PTO is behind this as well,'' Soloman said.
''Yes, they count the coins,'' Fette added.