Friday, February 28, 2014

140 Pounds of Pennies


I'm pretty sure we won the "Pennies for Patients" competition. The kindergarten brought in something like 25,480 pennies—from zero pennies earlier this week.

As school opened we put out our pennies.

I promise you: I didn't count them. At one penny per second, it would take more than seven hours to count that many pennies.

I calculated that number with the help of a calculator and the help of the room moms who told me that there are about 182 pennies in a pound. We collected 140 pounds in less than a week.


We played a little joke on the student council. They'd been by the kindergarten this whole month of February, including last Tuesday, to collect the pennies–and gotten zero pennies from us. All month they lifted up our empty collection box, shook it to make sure it was completely empty, shrug, and go on their way. You could see them hide a look of betrayal as they went out of the room.

On this, the last day of the penny drive, I think they just bypassed the kindergarten. "No need to stop by the kindergarten. They're not taking part," I can imagine them thinking.

When they didn't come, I sent Mrs. Zell to ask that they come by kindergarten anyway.

We had the one classroom collection box out and handed it the sixth grade girl. I imagine that she was expecting it to weigh maybe a pound or two at most. A look of surprise crossed her face when she took the box. She had to adjust her posture because it was almost full. I think it weighed about 12 pounds.

They turned to leave with the surprisingly big 12 pound haul. By pre-arrangement their leaving was the cue for the kindergarten class to shout, "Mr. Gurney, what about all these?" Davey tore off a red blanket that covered the piano bench which was sagging under the weight of the other 158 pounds of pennies.

It took the sixth graders a few moments to believe what they were seeing: box after box and bag after bag chock full of pennies.

The sixth graders duly weighed our pennies in two batches, each almost 70 pounds. 140 pounds in all.

It was fun to see the surprise on the faces of the sixth graders and I'm sure it made the kindergartners feel really big and really important to have collected so much. The official results are not in yet, but if you come to Monday's assembly, I'm sure we'll know by then. Win or lose, we had fun.

We collected a lot of pennies, more than $250 to help pediatric patients with cancer treatments. We can all feel good about that.

There is a great feeling going in this year's class. We won the Walk-a-thon and I'm pretty sure we won this contest, too. Way to go, guys!


Speaking of the Monday assembly, we won't have centers come Monday morning. The next round of centers will happen on Tuesday, March 4.


Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the Pasta Night. I hope everyone can come. You'll have the chance to see the whole school—students from K through 6 and their families, too. There will be a stage full of free entertainment which ends with a finale by the teachers. Mr. Schaible, as you'll see, always steals the show.

Come hungry. The Pasta King (whose grandkids came through this kindergarten) will be serving up his trademark fare.

See you tomorrow!

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