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Ed Smith Students Raise Nearly $900 for United Way of Central New York

This is a photo of Ed Smith students posing with a United Way sign.For the second year in a row, Ed Smith students made it their mission to collect a sizeable donation to benefit the United Way of Central New York!
Through three events – a chili cookoff, a pie throwing contest, and a Penny Wars collection competition – the school community together raised $890 to contribute to the local organization.
A group of student volunteers in grades 6-8 gathered daily to tally the money donated through the schoolwide collection, noting how much was raised per classroom and per grade level. Daily ‘top three classroom’ announcements were made to help keep students in the competitive spirit.
This year, some classes started strategizing to help their collection take the lead; they would “coin bomb” other classes. In the Ed Smith collection, pennies counted as their normal value – but any silver coins or paper money collected counted negatively against a class’s amount raised. So some students would collect silver coins to donate to the leading classes; others would save their pennies until the last minute, to allow them to remain less of a target.
“We have some very competitive kids around here!” Akira Keech exclaimed.
Ultimately, Ms. Moon’s 4th grade class won first place and raised the most funds in the K-5 contest, and Ms. Mone’s 6th grade class won first place in the 6-8 contest.
What makes this annual fundraiser so successful at Ed Smith?
“We like to help out with whatever we can,” seventh grader Ella Myers shared. “We can connect with our friends while we’re also helping out. It took a lot of time to count all the coins that were collected, but it was definitely worth the effort!”
“The United Way collection really makes us think about where the money is going and the impact it’s going to have,” Addie Zhe-Heimerman said. “It sounds like a lot of money, but every penny matters… every penny makes an impact.”
We’re proud of the Ed Smith students, staff, and community members who donated and volunteered to help support this worthwhile cause!
You can learn more about Ed Smith's fundraising efforts in this essay, written by Ed Smith 7th grade students Addie Zhe Heimerman, Ella Myers, and Ila Robinson!

Giving back to our community is something very important for everyone to learn. The younger you learn it the better. This is why we at Ed Smith decided to teach kids about this at a young age and give back by donating to the United Way. United Way is a charitable organization designed to support families and people in need. They also support schools by making sure that everyone has a good education. Some of the events that Ed Smith held to support the United Way this year were The Penny Wars, Chili Cookoff, and The Pie Throwing Contest. 

The Penny Wars was a contest held to see which class could raise the most money in pennies. Silver coins were used to sabotage other classes. The silver coins counted against your pennies. Every day middle school students would go around and collect the pennies to count. Little kids would love coming upstairs to the middle school hallways to sabotage their older siblings. We ended up raising $529 in The Penny Wars alone.  

The Chili Cookoff was a chance for the staff to have some fun while supporting this wonderful organization and for teachers to compete to see who could make the best chili. The chili was 1$ a sample cup. Mr. Hamernik, a sixth-grade teacher, was the winner of the chili cookoff. He says, “I find it very important to teach the kids about how to give back and be empathetic.” We raised $279 in The Chili Cookoff.  

We ended the fundraising season with The Pie Throwing Contest. Without question, another fun event that brought the staff together. It was a chance for all staff to pay $5 for a plate of pie to throw at the administrative staff. Ms. Mone, a United Way Team Coordinator and a participant of the contest said, “it was nice to see all the staff connecting with people they didn’t usually connect with.” We students look forward to next year when we hope to take part in the pie throwing contest. We are stashing our money already, so look out Principal Barber! We raised $90 in The Pie Throwing Contest. Altogether, we donated $890.00 to the United Way; just shy of $40.00 from last year’s total donation to the United Way.  

We were among many kids who were involved in the fundraisers used to support United Way. Ms. Moon’s fourth-grade class won The Penny Wars. One student, Benjamin Fuller, brought in the most pennies in his class. He wanted to thank his dad for all the pennies. We, along with a few other middle school students, counted all those pennies. One of these students thought “it was a valuable experience for us to realize how many other people there are in our community who are less fortunate than us. “  

We want to say thank you to the Ed. Smith United Way Coordinators: Ms. Blue, Ms. Dodge, Ms. Cody, Ms.Mone, Ms. Sweeney, and all the staff and teachers who made this possible. A warm appreciation goes out to our PTO who also supported the winning classrooms with a pizza party. And finally, a special thank you to Ms. Ellis for organizing the team behind the scenes to make this a successful giving season.   

Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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