Counting their pennies at Howbert
Reverse competition spices students’, teachers’ leukemia fund-raising effort

       Every school day since Jan. 26, Howbert Elementary fifth-grade teacher Holly Haycraft has been gathering after school with student council members and other interested students to add up piles of coins.
        It's not that a treasure trove has suddenly been discovered at the school. The money is coming from Howbert students, who have been clinking pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and even a few bills into jars in their classrooms for the Pennies for Patients drive.
       Feb. 13 is the last day of the drive. The money will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In the first week, donations totaled $311.56 .
       A unique approach, devised by Pennies for Patients, has made the fund-raising fun for the kids, said Haycraft, who's been coordinating the drive with help from fourth-grade teacher Chris Nelson. Pennies are deemed “positive,” while the larger denominations - nickels, dimes and quarters - are “negative.” To “win” that day, a classroom must have the fewest number of negative coins.
       “I will tell my kids, 'Bring your silver to put in other classes' jars,'” Haycraft confided. “When we announce who's winning, teachers will say, 'Go put silver in their jar.'”
       The strategy appears to be effective. This is the second year the drive has taken place at Howbert. Haycraft was hopeful that the final tally would top the $450 raised last year.

Westside Pioneer article