Highlands Ranch

Students’ pennies add up to thousands

Copper Mesa Elementary students pay it forward to help cancer patients


Copper Mesa Elementary School students took more than a few pennies from their piggy banks for this year’s Pay it Forward Campaign.

Teachers expected students to bring in about $200 total — they ended up collecting more than $2,700.

The campaign was part of the school’s annual Direct Giving Campaign, a three-week fundraiser organized by the Copper Mesa Educational Alliance Parent Teacher Organization, to reduce the number of number of donation requests throughout the year.

The student campaign was new for the school. Faculty let students pick between three fundraisers and asked them to bring in pennies and change. Students voted on the Cancer League of Colorado, most likely because of the amount of families touched by cancer, said the school’s principal, Steve Getchell.

The goal was to teach students the importance of paying it forward, said Stacy Hammond, who is on the parent teacher organization and has a fifth grader at Copper Mesa.

“We wanted to get away from being prize-driven,” she said, “and focus more on life skills.”

The school matched the $200 it had expected students to raise, which increased the school’s total donation to the Cancer League of Colorado to $2,932.

“We gave you a goal and you knocked it out of the park,” parent teacher organization president Marcia Nelson told students at an assembly on Oct. 6.“We were blown away.”


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