Lakota school raises $8K for playground using acts of kindness

Raising $8,000 for Lakota's Adena Elementary wasn't easy during concerns about coronavirus but students performed acts of school and community kindness for donations. Three of the top fundraising students are: L-R: Drew Sharp, Ella Meyer and Sydney Swiatek. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
Raising $8,000 for Lakota's Adena Elementary wasn't easy during concerns about coronavirus but students performed acts of school and community kindness for donations. Three of the top fundraising students are: L-R: Drew Sharp, Ella Meyer and Sydney Swiatek. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Students at a Lakota school didn’t let the changes brought by coronavirus steer them away from raising $8,000 that will soon transform into new playground equipment and water-bottle filling station.

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The fundraising challenge at Adena Elementary turned acts of kindness into a way to support the school in a unique approach. The concept is simple: Students receive donations from family and friends, then perform acts of kindness in school or in the community.

“The idea of a kindness challenge in such uncertain and trying times seemed like a great way to help students focus on being kind when everything is different this year,” said Emily Miller, co-president of the Adena Elementary School Parents Teachers Organization.

Principal John Mattingly immediately jumped on board.

“This was a great opportunity to include our VLO (virtual learning opportunity) students,” he said, noting those students learning at home could participate by conducting acts of kindness in their community.

Students were able to select from a list of acts of kindness ideas or they could choose their own. Examples include doing something nice for their families, decorating mailboxes for mail carriers and donating items to a local animal shelter. Mattingly and the PTO also included donating items to the district’s Stuff the Bus annual food drive to benefit Reach Out Lakota.

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Concerns and preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus, forced Adena officials to handle this year’s fundraiser differently.

“Because this year we were not able to have assemblies or a kick-off, we tried to get the students excited by doing kindness posters,” said PTO co-chair Lindsey Sharp.

“We thought maybe the kids seeing their own artwork reminding others to be kind would be fun for them.” This turned into a grade-level contest and the creation of a kindness wall - and another way to include Adena VLO students who sent their posters to school.

The $8,000 raised will supplement recess equipment and help fund a new water bottle filling station for the school. It will also be used to pay for mulch for the school’s nature trail, said school officials.

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