Jefferson Kindergarteners and the Power of People and Pennies

Jefferson Kindergarteners and the Power of People and Pennies
Posted on 03/28/2018
Jefferson Kindergarteners and the Power of People and PenniesLucy Edward’s kindergarteners had the opportunity to participate in a community aid effort while also sharpening their counting skills earlier this year. Edwards got the idea through her training in project-based learning and her family's involvement with the group of North Olympic Firefighters who were training for the March 11 Firefighter Stair Climb event at Seattle’s Columbia Tower to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Edwards decided to act. “I wanted us to support our community kids with cancer and their families by doing something!” said Edwards.  “Awareness leads to funding leads to research leads to a cure!”

Edwards’ class started bringing in coins.  The plan was to invite students and staff at Jefferson and Franklin Elementary Schools to collect pennies for a period of four weeks to give to the firefighters for their cause against cancer.

What started as a penny drive turned into a coin drive, and even dollar bills were collected along the way.  “If anything, I’ve learned so far that flexibility in project work is key, because the project starts to take on a life of its own,” said Edwards.  “Some of my students were so insistent that donations could be other coins besides pennies.”

The project was named The Power of People and Pennies.  “We’re doing it to beat cancer, so people don’t have to be sick anymore,” stated Edwards.  

“Difficult to say, Port Angeles School District currently has three students who are fighting cancer, and that really brought the need to get involved home to us,” said Joyce Mininger, principal at Jefferson Elementary.

There is educational value to the exercise.  “This is project-based learning, so my students learned about money---coin values and counting,” explained Edwards. 

“We made presentations in front of each class at our school building, “continued Edwards.  “We wrote out invitations and made posters, encouraging Franklin Elementary students and staff to participate.” 

“We also learned about empathy and how we can make a difference for others,” explained Edwards.  “We set a goal for each student and staff member to contribute a dollar.  Then we could see that when everybody does just a little, it CAN make a big difference!”

That sentiment became a mantra with the students, and with their school's help, they donated $414 to the firefighters for the LLS.

“I am pretty proud of what the kids here were able to accomplish’” said Edwards.  “No one should fight cancer alone.”

Jefferson students are featured on WSSDA’s Our Kids, Our Future website.  Read more at 

Jefferson Elementary Kindergarteners and the Power of People and Pennies by clicking on the following link:


(Photo by Patsene Dashiell/Port Angeles School District) - Jefferson Kindergarten students from Lucy Edwards' class gave a presentation before Board Directors during the February 22 meeting held in the school library about a joint venture with Franklin Elementary---the students from these two schools collected pennies to help fight cancer. If everybody does a little bit, it will make a big difference---is their mantra! From left are Caya Coughenour, Allie Poats, and Caden Lisk.

For additional assistance, please contact:

M. Patsene Dashiell
Communications & Community Relations Coordinator
Ph: 360-565-3703
Port Angeles School District
Central Services – 216 East 4th Street
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