Three months ago, children at Newton Elementary set out to achieve two simultaneous goals: honour a former student and raise as much money for charity as they could.
Last week, they achieved both of those goals – and more.
In March, the school launched a campaign in honour of Aniva Shaji, a student who passed away last October just before her 14th birthday.
Aniva, who had a degenerative muscle disorder, had been granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation – a laptop computer she had requested. To honour her memory, her fellow schoolmates wanted to give back to the foundation that had made Aniva so happy.
The school sold light-up star necklaces and each student was given a plastic star coin bank in which to collect their spare change for three months.
The average school raises about $1,200, said principal Jodi Kennett.
“We were hopeful that our school could meet this goal, and in the end our students far exceeded that goal by raising $6,123.66 – enough to grant a full wish to another child.”
Not only was a cheque was presented to Make-A-Wish in a ceremony last Tuesday, but Grade 5/6 teacher Dean Nakashima had his head shaved – something he promised to do if his students reached their fundraising goal of $300. They far exceeded that, raising $1,300, and ensuring Nakashima’s head stays cool this summer.