For 10 days in December, students at Howland Middle School competed to win not only breakfast from their principal, but for the satisfaction of helping other kids who are struggling with illness.
''When they realized there are others other there who are less fortunate, they really stepped up to the plate,'' said Bobbie Meyers, Howland Middle School Student Senate advisor.
Students were even more encouraged to participate in the program, sponsored by Handel's Ice Cream, after learning that all the money they collected will stay within the Mahoning Valley.
Special to Howland Community News
Students at Howland Middle School collected more than $2,000 for the Akron Children’s Hospital in the Mahoning Valley. Sponsored by Handel’s Ice Cream and organized by the school’s student senate, the campaign was held over a 10-day period last month with students divided into teams, adding a bit of competitive spirit. The winning team will be treated to breakfast by school principal Kevin Spiker. Student senate members, front row from left, are Mariah Aivasis, Adam Mazey and Emily Morello. Back row from left are: Ryan Debiec, Connor Divens, Alex DiBell and Ross Griffin. Missing from the photo are Danny Harrigan, Peter Glowe, Alana Chester, Jimmy Lerakis and Seah Sabihi.
The Koins for Kids campaign, launched to area schools in November, benefited Akron Children's Hospital of the Mahoning Valley.
''We have several children from our school who had to go to Akron Children's Hospital,'' Meyers said.
Meyers, along with another teacher, Lena Holloway, helped the schools student senate organize the campaign. The middle school, making up grades six through eight, collected more than $2,600 for the cause.
Students were divided into 10 teams of about 75 students each, Meyers said. A competition took place among the teams and student senate members met to collect and count the coins and dollars brought into the classrooms each day.
''We had one student empty his entire piggy bank into his classroom's donation box,'' Meyers said. ''And he told his teacher he was bringing in his brother's bank the next day.''
Howland Middle School was one of the top schools in the competition and as a result will receive an ice cream social and a D.J. for a school dance.
The winning team, Team Whittaker, lead by teacher Carleen Whittaker, raised $613 and will be treated to breakfast by school principal Kevin Striker.
"It is our intent to help educate area children on the importance of helping those who are less fortunate, especially when those who are affected are their peers,'' said Jim Brown, Handel's Chief Operating Officer.
After opening its doors to serve area families, the number of children who have already received services is staggering, he said.
Since the opening of the Beeghly Campus in Boardman last December, Akron Children's has cared for more than 14,000 children in the Emergency Department and admitted more than 1,700 children to the inpatient pediatric unit. Additionally, more than 5,300 children have utilized the outpatient laboratory and radiology services, there have been more than 2,300 outpatient visits to the Blood and Cancer Center and 2,100 speech, physical and occupational therapy visits.