Source: Sherman Publications

Penny Wars nets $2,500 for help in Japan

May 04, 2011

When disaster struck and struck again the island nation of Japan, folks around the world pitched in to help. It was no different locally.

In Orion Township, the students and parents of The Goddard School, E. Silverbell Road, pitched in and did their part -- Penny Wars!

"It was a wonderful teaching opportunity for the students to learn about giving back to people in need and to open the dialogue in the classroom about what is happening around the world," said the pre-school's owner Kellie McDonald. "The teachers were also able to use the opportunity to incorporate lessons on social science and math -- graphing, counting, adding and subtraction, values.

She said Each class received a jar for collected coins. Every penny students brought in was worth a point. Anything over a penny were considered negative points.

The class with the most points (pennies) won. Not only was there an element of who could raise the most money, but there was fun, too, by sabotaging other classrooms by putting silver coins and dollar bills in their jars. The preschool has nine classrooms.

When all the jars were filled and the counting complete, McDonald (a 1987 Lake Orion High School graduate) said students and parents had raised $2,500. They presented a check for that amount to the American Red Cross, to be used to help the Japanese people.

According to McDonald, the idea to give a "hand to Japan" came from Goddard's Director of Education, Jean Dasuqi.

This isn't the only time the families of Goddard have performed acts of good will. They have two annual bike-a-thons, one in May the other in September, with proceeds giving to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

McDonald opened the pre-school in August of 2007. The staff accepts children from six-weeks-old, to six-years-of-age. The summer program includes children up to 8. To learn more about Goddard go to or call 248-364-4401.