Pleasantville students raise money for Tennessee

Photo by Ethan Goetz/Journal-ExpressStudents from Deb Kenyon's fifth-grade class in Pleasantville pose for a photo after their fundraising efforts.

KNOXVILLE – Fifth-grade students in Pleasantville worked on a project to raise money for the wildfires that devastated communities in Tennessee, including two elementary schools.

Deb Kenyon, a fifth-grade teacher said, her class gets the option of either doing a Christmas exchange or she guides them toward a service project. The students decided to do the “Wildfire” project this year.

Kenyon said she discussed with the class on doing this project while it was heavily on the news.

“We wanted to service somebody affected at a school or education center,” Kenyon said.

Students in her class raised nearly $1,200 selling items two days per week for eight weeks. Items sold included hot chocolate and desserts.

All the money raised will go to two elementary schools that were damaged in the fire.

Some students in Brian Harkens' fifth-grade class caught the bug of doing charity work as well and raised $592. Their money went to helping animals.

They named their service project “Pastries for Pets” and sold brownies, cookies, trail mix, suckers and apple juice.

The children would come in before school and sell their goodies for about a half-hour.

Kenyon said there are a few things she would like to see the children get out of this experience.

“It's always more than you think the students are going to get out of it. There was some basics like math skills and time management,” Kenyon said. “They discovered how to help somebody out they don't even know, and working together.”

Kendall Krichau, one of the students in Kenyon's class, said she learned that “it is not hard to help others and it can make a big difference to them.”

Devin Thomas, another student, said the whole experience had its difficult and easy moments. Thomas said the difficult part was the long lines of children waiting for hot chocolate and getting them served fast.

Krichau said the difficult part for her was not knowing how much the volunteers were going to sell and telling people in line that they sold out.

Krichau and Thomas both said the project was fun and a good learning experience. They also said they both would do it again.

Ethan Goetz is a general assignment reporter for the Knoxville Journal-Express. He can be reached in the newsroom at 641-842-2155, ext. 19, or via email at Follow him on Twitter @Ethan_Goetz.

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