Bassett students plan spirit week fundraiser for cancer research

Halle Stephens and Ireland Shea show off their publicity poster for their IB PYP Exhibition project, a ChadTough fundraiser.

Bassett Elementary School fourth-grade students Ireland Shea and Halle Stephens saw a need and decided to take action.

Saddened by news of victims of childhood cancers, Halle and Ireland decided to do something about it. They chose to plan a spirit week to raise money for cancer research and to plant a tree in honor of all sick children in conjunction with their International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) exhibition project. The project focused on self-expression and the national parks.

With the support and encouragement of their teacher Pam Hughes, IB coordinator Deb Wadden and their parents, the girls researched organizations and navigated the process of planning their event, including a presentation of their detailed plan to Principal Jim Sanfilippo for approval.

To make this special event a reality, these dedicated young ladies created publicity posters, wrote and delivered morning announcements, and collected and counted donations. They enlisted the help of classroom teachers, building sectary Dana Hoffman and the entire Bassett student body.

During the first week of February, Bassett students could choose to participate in five different spirit days. Each day, interested students brought in a dollar donation for the right to wear a hat, dress as a superhero, wear something wacky, wear team spiritwear, or wear pajamas. Their determination resulted in a week of spirit days that united the student body for a common goal and raised over $800 for the ChadTough Foundation, a Michigan-based foundation that supports pediatric brain tumor research and studies, and to plant a tree in a national forest in Michigan in honor of all sick children.

When asked what they learned from this experience, Ireland said, “I learned that many people are willing to help and you just need an idea to make a difference.” Halle added, “The experience takes time. There are twists and turns along the way. We had to be flexible, but we were committed.”

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:28 AM, 03.01.2016