No dog days allowed.
Announcing the Kick-off of the Penny Harvest!
The Penny Harvest is the largest child philanthropy program in the United States. The Harvest grew from the desire of one child (the founder’s daughter) to feed the homeless, and for the last 15 years, thousands of children between the ages of four and 14 have been collecting pennies and turning those pennies into grants for community groups. Every penny our children collect will be ours to give away. The Young Philanthropist Foundation covers all material and administrative fees for the Harvest, enabling the funds to go directly to the community groups our MSD students will select.
This Do-Good project will have three phases over the course of the school year.
Phase I: Gathering Pennies
Over the past two weeks the Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms have selected Penny Harvest Student Leaders, who will serve as our Penny Harvest Board. The Board represents their constituents, all of the MSD students from Toddler through Sixth Grade. Once each of the classrooms decides on the causes that they would like to help, the Board’s job is to vet community groups or foundations that support those particular causes.
On Monday, October 17, we kicked off the Penny Harvest project at our Community Gathering. All 14 Penny Harvest Student Leaders presented the project to the students and showed the community how easy it is to find change. On Friday, October 21, we will send home a Penny Harvest bag for each student to use to collect change. We will collect pennies from now until Friday, December 2. Each classroom will have a large jar that students can add to as their own collection grows. Once we put all of our jars together, it will be amazing to see how much we have collected!
Phase II: Make Grants
Once we have collected all the coins on December 2, the Penny Harvest Board will convene again and meet once a week for roundtable meetings under the direction of our Faculty Leaders, Min Chu and Peggy Donohoe. The Student Leaders will identify and prioritize community needs based on the causes the classrooms are most interested in supporting, research groups and visit local organizations to make the tough decisions on how our Penny Harvest funds can best make a difference in our community and globally. Once organizations have been vetted and selected by the Student Leaders, we will present funding checks at an end of the school year Community Gathering.
Phase III: Take Action
Collecting pennies is only part of this Do Good project. To further the impact of our funding grants, we will also participate in a hands on service learning project in the spring that will let us all put our words and deeds into meaningful action.
MSD and the Young Philanthropist Foundation both believe that philanthropy is anything you do to make the world a better place. We are excited to have found this wonderful organization to partner with the MSD students, parents, and staff to fulfill a very important part of our mission.