Louis Riel Kids Have the Spirit

Article excerpt

Students in the Louis Riel School Division gave a lesson in giving this week when they dropped off hundreds of kilograms of coins they collected to help the Christmas Cheer Board.

The students and staff of all the schools in the division concluded their month-long campaign to raise money in their Pennies from LRSD drive, which feeds into the Winnipeg Free Press' annual Pennies from Heaven fundraiser -- with a festive drop-off at the division's administrative building.

Students carried coffee cans, milk jugs, boxes covered with wrapping paper and pails all filled with a mixture of copper-coloured coins, silver and dollar bills.

Decked out with a Santa hat and standing near two dozen division-staff-turned-carollers, division superintendent Duane Brothers said the division's pennies fundraising drive each December fits in nicely with the students' education.

"People are swamped right now with the south St. Vital reorganization going on and a new school planned for Sage Creek -- but they still raised money," Brothers said. "And as pennies disappear, I'm sure you'll see a bit more creativity in how we demonstrate citizenship. They'll have exciting projects coming up."

âcole Varennes Grade 8 students Caleb May and Faith Mukanik, along with their vice-principal Sharad Srivastava, were the first to arrive with their contribution.

Srivastava said the students raised $1,145 in a rummage sale and an unknown amount from a silver collection through the school's classrooms.

"The rummage sale went very well, and it fit with our focus on being green and sustainable as well," he said.

"We went to every class and asked for donations," May said.

"I make cinnamon buns every year and this year I made 40 of them and they were gone in five minutes."

Faith added: "We had fun."

Once the students dropped off their school's donation at a panel truck outside, they went inside the division offices where they were rewarded with cookies and juice and serenaded by Dakota Collegiate's recently formed pep band. …