Whitefish Middle School students scrapped together their pennies in a big way last month donating more than $2,000 to North Valley Food Bank.
Classrooms at the school held a Penny War the third week in December with the goal of benefiting the food bank.
Students were encouraged to bring in pennies to donate and place in jugs for collecting coins. For each penny or paper bill donated, classrooms earned points. But all silver coins added to the jugs cost them points in the same value of the coin.
Students worked to increase the totals of their own classroom, but also tried to sabotage other classrooms by placing silver coins in their jugs.
“It tested our knowledge of strategy skills because we had to figure out when to put the silver coins in other teacher’s jars,” Bowdie Krack said.
The fifth grade classes raised $1,230, sixth grade had $685 and seventh and eighth-grade combined raised $414.
“It was a big strategy game with the silver coins versus the copper coins,” said student Zoe Tremper.
Students Alma Harding and Mary Carloss said the penny war was fun.
“We liked the competition between classes,” Carloss said.
Teacher Chris Holt said the school typically collects holds a can drive every year, but decided to try something different this holiday season.
“The kids did some research that showed that food banks can do more with monetary donations such as purchasing perishable food,” she said. “It was ridiculously successful.”
Ann Muth’s class raised the most for fifth-grade classrooms. Sara Parr’s class raised the most for sixth-grade classrooms.
The class with the most points at the end of the week earned a pajama day and ice cream party.
The total amount donated to the food bank was $2,280.20