HOW MUCH? - Each classroom at La Porte City Elementary School was responsible for counting the candy they donated, like these students in Jane Aswegan’s kindergarten classroom. Photo by Mike Whittlesey.

HOW MUCH? – Each classroom at La Porte City Elementary School was responsible for counting the candy they donated, like these students in Jane Aswegan’s kindergarten classroom. Photo by Mike Whittlesey.

By Mike Whittlesey

The staff and students at La Porte City Elementary School will tell you that character counts. Last Friday, that character was on display in a most unique fashion, as students voluntarily parted with a portion of their Halloween candy stash for a very good cause.

Candy for a Cause, spearheaded by staff members Jane Aswegan, Lynn Peters and Joan Getz, was an opportunity for the school community to put their Character Counts! education into action for the benefit of those both near and far away. The 3,587 pieces of candy donated by students represent the far away part of the equation, as it will be shipped to men and women of the U.S. armed forces serving overseas in support of their efforts, as Veterans Day draws near. Included in those packages will be greeting cards, hand-made by the schoolchildren.

In addition to supporting the troops far away, Candy for a Cause will make an important contribution locally. Thanks to generous donations pouring in from throughout the community, a school-wide collection bank has been established. Each student who donated candy will be able to make a contribution to the bank, as they will receive a set amount of coins for each piece of candy they willingly parted with. That amount, ranging anywhere from one to twenty-five cents, perhaps even higher, will be determined once the financial contributions from the community have been collected and tallied.

The amount of money assigned to each piece of candy is an important part of Candy for a Cause, as it helps students understand the financial value attached to their donations. It also serves as an important vehicle for lessons in mathematics and real-world problem-solving opportunities about something they value. The money raised by Candy for a Cause will stay nearby, given to a local family in need.

School officials are gratified at the outpouring of support this project has already generated. Each package sent overseas will cost about $15 to ship, and the school would prefer to send candy to service personnel with some connection to La Porte City families or the school community. If you would like to make a contribution to Candy for a Cause, or if you know a local soldier serving overseas whose unit might appreciate a “sweet” package from La Porte City Elementary School, please contact the school at 342-3033.