The students of Sean McCracken’s Skyview Upper Elementary sixth-grade class have taken their lessons on citizenship to heart.
His 25 students have organized and implemented a fundraising effort that would benefit an 11-year-old Philadelphia girl who is in the Make-A-Wish Foundation program.
“It was all student based,” McCracken said. “I was definitely impressed by how much they wanted to give.”
McCracken, now in his seventh year teaching science at Skyview, said that in November, his students were tasked with decorating his classroom door with what is called a “Math Box,” which is a large poster that asks several questions based on a theme.
According to McCracken, the theme is connected with the students’ character education. He explained that Methacton students in fifth and sixth grades across the district teaches on varying themes of “Character Counts.”
Going with the theme of citizenship, the classroom door was decorated with questions that asked passersby about being environmentally and socially conscious.
New this year, McCracken and his class together decided that they would also raise funds for a worthy organization in order to further demonstrate good citizenship.
However, the organization was not clear at first. McCracken said that his students suggested several worthy non-profit organizations.
Lauren Raquet, Skyview sixth-grader, suggested the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a candidate, after seeing a girl with cancer on T.V., who got to go on the television show “Cake Boss,” as made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“We all voted for it,” Lauren said of the majority vote her suggestion received.
As a result, one of the questions on the Math Box door asked passersby to “Estimate how much money Skyview can raise for the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” with an arrow pointing to a collection jar for the organization.
According to McCracken, the whole school quickly learned of the fundraising effort his class was facilitating, and have given in kind.
He said that students would place their loose change and larger donations in the jar as they traveled between classes. Skyview Elementary teachers also expressed support of the Make-A-Wish fundraising by donating proceeds from their regular “Dress Down Fridays” events.
At the most recent count, McCracken’s sixth-grade class has raised approximately $300 for the foundation, making them half-way through to their ultimate goal of $600, possibly attained by the end of next week.
In addition to raising funds, McCracken’s sixth-grade students were also paid a visit by Gretchen Smith of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, who explained more about the organization to the students.
According to the organization’s website, the Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in 1980 and has grown to become the nation’s largest wish-granting organization. The site states that today a child’s wish is granted in the United States every 40 minutes.
According to McCracken, Smith’s visit helped his students understand that their efforts were helping other children their own age, including Kayla, the 11-year-old Philadelphia girl McCracken’s students are helping to fulfill her wish for a trip to Disney World.
“It made me feel proud,” Julien Sharkoski, Skyview sixth-grader, said of his involvement with the effort.
McCracken said he feels equally as proud to be able to teach this particular group of students.
“When I tell other teachers, my friends and family, I say what a special group of students they are,” McCracken said.
For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit www.wish.org.