The following has been reproduced from an article appearing in the July/August 2011 issue of Life In Naples
Charity for Change, a character building and philanthropy curriculum offered free to schools in Collier County, announces the impact the students’ fundraising had on the community during the 2010-11 school year: More than 3,000 students at Calusa Park, Golden Terrace, Lake Park and Lely elementary schools donated a total of $15,499.23 to 72 charities through their efforts. They raised $8,431.23 by donating their own change from allowances, the tooth fairy, birthday money and small fundraisers they held. In addition, they earned $7,068.00 from Community Partners such as Walmart and The Arlington that make contributions when the children correctly answer questions in the Counting for Charity weekly math and character development computer game. Since the initiative began in 2008, Collier County students have donated $44,403.97 to charity.
“We applaud the students for working together to select their charities and make such important contributions to our community,” said Karen Conley, president and CEO of Charity for Change. The 72 charities are presented for the children’s consideration, following themes such as health care, the environment, the arts and animal welfare. “We are privileged to partner with the schools, principals, teachers and parents to connect children with charities and help them apply, through philanthropy, the character traits set by the state and school district. And, having Community Partners donate to the children’s efforts teaches them that other people recognize their important work.”
Charity for Change thanked the students and the schools for their efforts during year-end assemblies at the schools. The organization recognized several teachers who volunteer as School Program Leaders for Charity for Change, including Laurie Henning from Calusa Park; Suzanne Clarke and Holley Holland from Lake Park; Suzanne Alden, Kelly Dodge and Deborah McWaters from Golden Terrace; and Deborah Graham, Kristi Humberger and Megan Noe from Lely.
Several classrooms won awards for top participation: Gigi Broccolo's kindergarten and Laurie Henning's third grade at Calusa Park; Kelly Dodge's third grade and Rebecca McCosh's first grade at Golden Terrace; Christine Bezjak's first grade and Jane Rogers' fifth grade at Lake Park; and Deborah Graham's fifth grade and Dana Rapacz's second grade at Lely. In addition, 211 students received "Student of the Year" certificates for the leadership they showed in their classrooms, and 318 received Student of the Month certificates throughout the year. Charities receiving donations made 155 classroom visits since September 2010 to talk about their work and thank the students.