The students at Alta View Elementary don’t take raising money for charity lightly especially when Harry Potter is involved.
At the end of a recent weeklong “penny war” during which each hallway in the school was divided into a different “house,” the Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws and Slytherins raised about $3,200 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And they learned a little something about serving others, too.
“We encourage all of our kids to do service,” Principal Karen Medlin said of the school’s philosophy behind organizing the fundraiser. “They are a part of our community and they need to be good citizens” as well as good students.
This is the second year Alta View has hosted a penny war among its students for the sake of charity. Last year, Altal View students raised about $4,000 in one week for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The students chose to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because some had family members who have been affected by cancer. This year, however, a second-grade classmate died of the disease. That’s when the fundraising battle became personal.
“It’s something that hits close to home,” Medlin said.
Students decorated each of their hallways with the theme of their own house, and immediately began scheming to win. Getting ahead took some strategy: for every penny they brought, they received one point, but for every dollar or silver coin they contributed, that amount would be deducted from an opposing house of their choice. Each day, the house with the most points was announced and each day all of the other houses had a new target for deductions.
Last year, the Slytherins won. But this year, the Gryffindors made up of third-grade students and one fifth-grade class took first place with a mere $7.04 more than everyone else.
“They were shocked when they won,” says school psychologist Dania Allen, who helped organize the event.
As a reward for winning, the Gryffindor house was treated to a party complete with a raffle, snacks, candy, dress-up and face-painting activities, and a “potions” class.