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Pennies from Hamilton

February 04, 2005|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Told that "your loose change can make a big change," many of the 468 students at Hamilton Heights Elementary School Thursday brought 100 pennies to school to mark the 100th day of the school year and to help students in Asia who lost their schools in the Dec. 26 tsunami.

Some of the students were bringing in more, said Megan McGuire of the school's Parent Teacher Organization. One class of fifth-graders brought in $81 for the relief effort.

"They were our first group to come in this morning. They were very excited," McGuire said.

Throughout the morning, McGuire said students were coming to the library to deposit their pennies and other contributions into plastic water cooler jugs.

All the money collected will be donated to Room to Read, a charitable organization that is rebuilding more than 100 schools that were damaged or destroyed in Sri Lanka, she said.

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When the tsunami hit southeastern Asia, the students had a lot of questions about the disaster, McGuire said. "We thought, there has to be something on a school level we can do," she said.

"What more perfect way for our children to understand?" she said.

The money raised by the students will be matched by F&M Trust Co., according to McGuire.

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