A little change can go a long way

P.S. 108 vice principal, Deirdre Hogan and students of the Round Table, present a Penny Harvest grant to Judith Richburg, director of senior centers for Aging in America and William Smith, CEO of Aging in America. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

Students of P.S. 108 prove that a little change can go a long way.

For the fifth year, P.S. 108 has participated in Penny Harvest, a service through the educational not-for-profit organization Common Cents, which allows students to collect pennies in exchange for a monetary grant.

“I think that Penny Harvest is a really unique opportunity for students to become philanthropists,” said vice principal Deirdre Hogan. “It is so important for all the children to gather and see the check presentation so they can see the positive impact they had.”

Following the mission of Penny Harvest, the students of P.S. 108 formed a ‘Round Table,’ comprised of a student representative from each class, to determine what organizations would benefit from the grant.

Unable to select just one, students split the $1,000 between the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Metro New York Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the local food pantry through Aging in America.

“Every student helped. It was like building something because we needed every person in the school to help,” said Amanda Zong, 9. “This is my first year on the Round Table and we had to discuss things like what charities we would donate to. I wanted the Make-a-Wish Foundation because they grant 176,897 wishes every 40 minutes for children. I took pennies from my piggy bank and my dad gave me some too.”

William Smith, president and C.E.O. of Aging in America, visited the students on Tuesday, June 16 for the check presentation and to explain the benefits of supporting our local food pantries as more and more people turn to them for assistance.

“Donations for non-profit agencies like ours are needed now more than ever before. The negative state of the economy has affect how we provide services to so many needy people,” said Williams. “This contribution is a great example of how youth in the community and our partners in P.S. 108 can introduce the urgent role of food pantries and volunteer work at an early age, while at the same time helping people with essential food from our food pantry.”

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