Pennies do add up.
Storm Lake Middle School students brought in their pennies (and some silver) to be a part of the Tornado Learning Club's service project to benefit the tsunami victims. The students deposited $1,958.18 throughout the month in money jars placed in the homerooms.
That number is impressive enough but there's more.
Members of the Middle School Student Council sold lei necklaces and bracelets for 50 cents each at the recent dance held at the school. The leis were completely sold out within a half hour, adding an additional $150 for the cause and staff members contributed $145 for the fund.
At a special assembly Wednesday, representatives from the three Storm Lake car dealerships were present to add $1,000 to the students' cause.
The grand total for the project is $3, 246.18. The money will be sent to Do Something Kids Tsunami Relief Fund.
It will be used in five areas:
* Build a learning center in Tamil Nadu, India
* Build a school in Banda Aceh, Indonesia
* Build a medical clinic in Hembanthota district in Sri Lanka
* Build a school in Pottuvil, Sri Lanka
* Contribute to the Sarvodaya Orphan Relief Fund, Sri Lanka
The TLC students heading up the project were Victor Rivas, Keaton Carver, Daniel Flores, Ruben Loera, Dylan Tournabane, Austin Waller, Jesus Hernandez, Adam Zheng, Diego Ramirez, Ryan Wiley, Oscar Perez and Andrew Brown.
Under the supervision of Ms. Lujano, Mrs. Luna and Buena Vista University student Juliana Trost, selected the Tsunami Relief Fund as their service activity. They learned about the tsunami, calculated the number of people killed from each of the countries, studied the effects of bad water and made the containers for the homerooms.
The students turned the event into a penny war to add to the fun. Students deposited pennies in their own homeroom containers and also deposited silver coins in containers in other homeroom containers. The silver coins, though the net worth added up quicker than the pennies, canceled out the worth of the pennies during the students' game. Penny points were counted in each homeroom.
The homeroom with the most negative penny points was Mrs. Kestel's room with 7,452 points. The homeroom with the most money collected was Mrs. Ingram's class with $138.10 and the homeroom with the most penny points was Mrs. Van Batavia's room with 9,323 points.
On the average, each of the homerooms collected $69.
The TLC students collected the money containers and took the money to Citizen's Bank to be counted. Employees at the bank gave of their time, staying after hours to help the students count the money.
"The students should be commended for their efforts," said Donna Queen, TLC director. "This project really shows them the positive thing they've done. Thank you Storm Lake Middle School. You have shown how much you care."