For the past couple of weeks, the in-school project I work on at KIPP Endeavor Academy with their community service club has been focusing all of their attention on cancer, specifically leukemia, by participating in the Pennies for Patients fundraiser. This fundraiser started with information on cancer and lessons on what it does to your body and what kind of cancer leukemia is. For instance, did you know that one in three people will develop cancer in their lifetime? Or, that leukemia affects more children than any other type of cancer?
After learning about the disease, the symptoms, how it has the possibility to affect everyone, we moved on to activities to deal with the heavy weight of cancer. In-class activities are important and crucial here at KIPP, as leaving the school to go off-site for volunteer opportunities is not easy or readily available for the community service club. First, we played trivia to test the students on what they learned. They were split into different groups and asked a series of questions, racking up points along the way. This trivia game happened to fall on Valentine’s Day, so treats were awarded to all, but the actual winners got an even bigger prize: money. As a former proud owner of two little vintage piggy banks, when one fell and broke I gathered up all of the loose change, divided it into five bags and awarded it to the trivia team winners, to get their homeroom started in the Pennies for Patients Fundraiser.
KIPP has eight different homerooms, for all of their students ranging from fifth to eighth grade. Each homeroom is named after a different university, to really emphasize the importance of a college education for these children. A bottle with the homeroom’s name has been placed in each homeroom to collect change for the Pennies for Patients fundraiser. After all of the lessons on cancer, the activities we did, and a visit from a woman from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Kansas City, these students were ready to start raising money for the cause. There are incentives for each homeroom to win, an Olive Garden lunch for the winning homeroom, and other prizes, but the students also really learned how far the money they raise will go and are continually bringing in more. The fundraiser goes until the end of this week, so we do not yet know how much money KIPP will raise for Pennies for Patients, but we do know that they will be helping to further advance research in Leukemia, and help support people that are currently battling this disease. The Community Service Club’s participation in the Pennies for Patients fundraiser showed their ambition to learn and help their community.