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Books to Africa Coin Drive

At Cougar Ridge Every Penny Counts in the Books to Africa Coin Drive

Posted by User Not Found on 12 February, 2016

The jingling and clanking of coins was heard throughout the week at Cougar Ridge Elementary School thanks to the students, staff, and community who supported the Books to Africa Coin Drive. The drive was hosted by Cougar Ridge Librarian Julie Hembree as part of the school’s new global outreach program.

“Our Librarian has brought some incredible opportunities to our school this year,” shared Cougar Ridge Teacher Jamie Allott. “This week is an example of just one of them.”

Julie shared, “It took many hands to count the hundreds of coins students donated to the Books to Africa Coin Drive. I was delighted and surprised to find we earned $1,250 this week with 4800 being pennies! My goal for this project was $1,000 and I was beyond delighted when this one day project stretched into three because of our students' willingness to donate.”

The donations raised through the coin drive will be used to purchase postage to send 14 boxes of donated elementary level picture and chapter books to four classrooms in Africa—one in Ghana, one in Lesotho, and two in South Africa. That is 1000-1200 books, depending on their size.

“I know each of the teachers to whom we are donating personally from my involvement with the Microsoft Expert Educators program,” shared Julie. “Last summer I even visited two of the schools in South Africa to find out how the program was helping the students at their schools.”

Throughout the coin drive, Julie stressed to students that this was about students helping other students in a way that could really matter.

She noted, “I received one note from a student with 13 cents in a baggie that said “This is for books to Africa.” Students really dug into their piggy banks to give whatever they could.”

Cougar Ridge PTSA President Wendy Shah shared, “This was a great experience for our students to see how much of an impact they can make as a group by bringing in coins. This enabled all students to participate and Julie made students feel comfortable enough to bring in just a penny. Most of all, it was great to see the kids do this, not their parents.”