Last month, students in the Williamsport Area School District were asked to "be the change" as part of the district's education foundation's Return to Glory Capital Campaign.
In continuing the push to reach its $3.5 million goal, the WASD Education Foundation launched the "Return to Glory Change Challenge" for a two-week period in November in the kindergarten through eighth-grade buildings, and collected $4,070.
The challenge, named after the foundation's campaign to restore and upgrade the high school's aging athletic complex through private donations, was an attempt to raise as much money as possible at the student level through coin collections at each building.
Williamsport Area High School sophomore Devin Marty helps a student stay the course during the change challenge’s kickoff assembly at Cochran Primary School.
"We wanted to bring this to the students, because the project is something that will benefit them once it's complete," said Greg Hayes, executive director of the WASD Education Foundation. "By doing something as simple as collecting change, it demonstrates a shared effort toward a common goal and also brings with it a sense of ownership on the students' behalf."
Special kickoff assemblies took place at each of the primary and intermediate schools to launch the "Return to Glory Change Challenge" that included a relay, all led by a group of high school students who guided their younger peers - and even a few teachers - through the activity.
The class in each of the schools that raised the most money in the two-week period is scheduled to receive an ice cream sandwich party. Similarly, at the middle school, grade level teams (Cherry, White and Millionaires) have been challenged to see which one can also raise the most.
However, the high school will continue the work to raise money with a bit of twist.
While it will be collecting all forms of loose change, it has set a goal of raising $17,424 - the equivalent of 1.1 miles' worth of quarters, which is the distance up the hill from the middle school to the high school.
The goal is based on a mathematical formula that a foot (12 inches) of quarters is worth $3, multiplied by 5,808 feet (1.1 miles).
Weekly change totals will be converted to a number representing the number of quarters collected. In turn, the curb along Millionaire Drive will be painted red to track the students' fundraising progress.
The high school's change drive will be ongoing until the goal is reached.
The foundation's "Return to Glory" campaign is driven by a volunteer task force of community leaders to restore and update the high school's aging athletic complex. To date about $1.6 million has been committed to the project.
The first phase of modernization is expected to include the installation of an expanded all-weather turf field for football, soccer and band; a new track-and-field complex; and other infrastructure improvements to the stadium.
For more information on the campaign, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.wasd.org /returntoglory. Donations by check, made payable to the WASD Education Foundation, also are welcome.