Paramount, CA – With a Thanksgiving theme of “Give thanks by giving back,” Los Cerritos Elementary School students collected loose change from their neighborhoods to assist in the fight against cancer, raising $1,100 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients cancer research program.
Los Cerritos’ Pennies for Patients drive began Oct. 28 with a kick-off assembly that provided students with information regarding the blood cancer treatments their donations will fund.
“Pennies for Patients teaches students about philanthropy and compassion for others,” Los Cerritos Principal Hilda Verdugo said. “It encourages students to engage with their communities while learning about the preciousness of life. Thank you to counselor Fatima Ruiz for organizing the event this year, and to the Los Cerritos staff and students and their parents for their enthusiasm and hard work.”
For the second year in a row, Los Cerritos first-grade teacher Yolanda MacNeil’s class was the top fund-raiser, earning a classroom pizza party. As an incentive to inspire her students, MacNeil held daily drawings for children who donate, with winners earning “Bulldog Bucks.”
Los Cerritos students became creative as they enlisted donations from their communities. One student saved his change from the grocery store to donate, while another raided his piggy bank. Another was motivated by a family member who is a cancer survivor.
“My grandmother and I went around our neighborhood collecting money,” first-grader Isabella Mora said. “My grandmother told me, ‘Come on, remember, we have to raise money for the children with cancer.’ She feels bad for those children because she had cancer herself.”
Pennies for Patients is part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Student Series, a three-week fundraiser designed to introduce students to service learning, character education and
philanthropy programs. The effort has raised over $315 million to fund breakthrough services and patient therapies.
“Paramount Unified strives to instill positive values in our students, invaluable lessons that will resonate with them their entire life,” PUSD Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “Los Cerritos is an exemplary school. Its contributions to the Pennies for Patients fundraiser demonstrate that our students understand the concepts of empathy and compassion.”
121216_PARAMOUNT_PENNIES1: Los Cerritos Elementary School raised $1,100 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients cancer research program. The school held an assembly to learn more about cancer research and announce top fund-raisers.
121216_PARAMOUNT_PENNIES2: Los Cerritos Elementary School participated in Pennies for Patients, part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Student Series, a three-week fundraiser designed to introduce students to service learning, character education and philanthropy programs.