Miles of Pennies has begun in Fort Dodge Community School District schools.
The student-driven fundraiser, sponsored by the Fort Dodge Community Foundation, allows students at each of the district's elementary buildings and the middle school to raise funds for needed items.
"It's a way for the kids to be involved in raising money for items that their school needs, but these items aren't available in the budget," Tracy Hartley, foundation treasurer, said.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Ashlynn Young, a third-grader at Duncombe Elementary School, measures a few of the pennies donated to the Miles of Pennies campaign. So how many pennies are there in a mile? If laid flat, 84,480 or $844.80 worth. If set on edge? 1,038,689 or $10,386.89 worth. A penny is .75 inch in diameter and .061 inch thick.
Each school has set a goal, with a purpose declared for the funds.
"The foundation requires that each school sets a goal, and that they tell us what they're going to use the miles of pennies money for," Hartley said. "They set a goal. They raise the money. And if they make their goal, the foundation not only gives them back what they made, but an additional $100."
The schools' goals for 2014 are:
The schools' goals, Hartley said, are not unattainable.
"Last year, I think every school made their goal," she said. "They look at what they did last year, and then they try and increase it a little bit more."
The six participating schools each hold different activities to raise the funds, Hartley said.
"At the middle school they're doing penny wars," she said. "At Cooper, they'll do little contests. Maybe they'll have class wars, for whatever class raises the most."
She added, "Each school figures out what fun things they want to do."
The event is fun for the schools' students, Hartley said.
"They don't make it difficult to do," she said. "They do all these fun little activities. The kids enjoy it, and the schools benefit because they get some items that weren't normally set aside for in the budget."
Miles of Pennies concludes April 25.