Guest post by Debra Harrison

During Catholic Schools Week ( January 29 – February 2) students at Saint Joseph’s Catholic School in Macon collected band aids for the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital.

The student body also held a Penny War to raise money for the Child Life Services of The Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital. The department will purchase teaching dolls for helping patients and their parents understand procedures that the children will undergo. A check for $1,802.63 was presented to representatives from the hospital on March 14, 2018.

SJS Penny Wars Macon Community News
St. Joseph’s School Students present donation check to the Children’s Hospital. Photo by Debra Harrison.

Mi Anne Smith is a fifth grade teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. She observed that her students were excited for the opportunity to help raise the money. “We had a pep rally to start the penny war, and some nurses from the children’s hospital came in and brought a doll to show the kids what they use them for. They had different overlays that go on top of the doll that would show a patient where a port would go for IVs, or what the inside of the body looks like. They even had a cast that would go on the doll,” Mi Anne explains.

Her students enjoyed the opportunity to participate in raising funds for the children’s hospital. “My students really liked getting to see the dolls that are used in the children’s hospital and knowing exactly what the money raised was being used for,” Mi Anne says. “They loved strategizing with each other on how they could bring in the most money and who would be ‘bombed.’”

Throughout the Penny War, students at St. Joseph’s School compete to see which class contributes the most money. Students bring in pennies for their own class, and each penny represents one point in the competition. They can also bring in larger coins to “bomb” other classes, so that each larger coin will remove points from the class who receives it. So, if a quarter is placed in a classroom’s jar, they lose 25 points; if a dime is placed, they lose 10 points, and so forth.

Molly Wilkins Williams is the mother of two children who attend St. Joseph’s. “My kids loved it. They were so excited to help out, even in what might seem like a small way. They can see the children’s hospital construction on their way into school, so they understood they were helping with something they could see being built,” she says.

Wendy Arnold is both a teacher and a parent at St. Joseph’s. She teaches pre-kindergarten classes to 4 and 5 year old students. Her daughter McKenna is in the 4th grade and her daughter Caitlyn is in the 6th grade at the school.

The children in Wendy’s class really enjoyed their chance to participate with the older students in the Penny War. As a class, they dedicated their efforts to bringing in pennies for their class—and larger coins for bombing.

“My students tried to bomb Caitlyn and McKenna’s class,” Wendy shares. “It was really funny, and we made sure neither of them won!”

“Our school collected over $1800 for the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital at Navicent Health,” Wendy says. “The 4K students worked hard to earn money and were excited to use their money to bomb other classes. Although our class did not win the Penny War, we know the true winners are the kids at the hospital.”

The Penny War was won by the second grade classroom of teacher Fiona Hall, but all of the students at Saint Joseph’s Catholic School enjoyed their friendly competition, and knowing that they were helping to buy MedKin dolls that would help other children feel less scared at the children’s hospital.



Published by Guest Columnist

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