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Cambridge Lakes School collects coins for good causes

Submitted Photos courtesy MariFeatherly
 The pile donated coins money Purple School Principal Jaime Pearce’s office.

Submitted Photos courtesy Maria Featherly The pile of donated coins and money in Purple School Principal Jaime Pearce’s office.

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Updated: December 27, 2012 6:07AM

PINGREE GROVE — Pennies and nickels add up.

Just ask the third- and fourth-grade students at Cambridge Lakes Charter School, who raised $1,700.30 in mostly spare coins.

“I never imagined we would raise this amount,” said Jaime Pearce, Purple School (grades three and four) principal. “We easily beat last year’s total despite fewer classes participating.”

Due to a restructuring at the school that moved the fifth grade to another building, only seven classes took part in the fundraiser compared to nine classes a year ago. Despite fewer participants, the enthusiastic charter school students bested last year by $255.

The donations will be divided: Thirty percent will go to the charter school’s Improvement Fund, 30 percent goes toward a fund for future activities for the fourth-graders, and 40 percent will go to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

“Let’s be thankful for the families who can enjoy a warm meal because of this donation,” Pearce said.

The charter school’s Purple School began its annual coin drive on Nov. 12. This year’s drive featured a point competition among homerooms instead of dollar amounts with these basic rules: Donate paper money and pennies to your homeroom. Send silver coins to other homerooms.

Every penny found in the homeroom bucket counted as one point toward the homeroom total.

Every silver coin found in the homeroom bucket took one point away from that total. Dollar bills counted as 100 points.

Mrs. Grischow’s fourth-grade homeroom won the competition for the second year in a row. They earned a pizza and ice cream party.

“We strategized every afternoon about what class to go after,” she said.

“But the real point was for students to learn about their community and about giving to others who do not have what they do.”

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