Using a wonderful website called Journey North, my class has been studying and tracking the migration of endangered whooping cranes from Wisconsin to Florida since October. Inspired by the efforts of another school last year, Operation Migration (the organization that spearheads the reintroduction of these cranes) created a fundraiser called Change 4 Cranes. Participating classrooms received small cardboard boxes to collect donations. As happens, our in-school schedule was quite busy and it was hard to find time for one more thing. So, my students took their boxes home to ask family, friends, and neighbors to ask for donations while teaching others about the importance of this historic conservation effort.
Boxes came back bursting and often extra ziplock bags were needed to hold all the change. Right before our winter break, we sorted all the coins into baby food jars and then the counting began. We spent some time talking about the best way to count the different coins (i.e. groups of 10s for dimes, 4s for quarters, etc.) and the children chose the best strategy as they worked with a partner. We kept track of the number of coins as well as their value. When all was finished, I realized we forgot to count several jars of pennies (about 2000 pennies in all!). Somehow I managed to lug a 40+ lb. bag of change to the bank. Thank goodness for canvas teacher's bags and those amazing coin & bill sorting machines! The grand total came to $568.84!
My class is featured on Operation Migration's Change 4 Crane page and we couldn't be prouder. It was a wonderful to learn that every penny really does count!
"Together we are mighty. Nobody makes a greater mistake than one who does nothing because they could only do a little." - Edmund Burke
The cranes continue to make their way toward Florida in their longest fall migration yet. You can follow their progress at Operation Migration's Field Journal or Journey North.