Sitting in the principal’s office is not usually where a student wants to find himself, but for one day last week it was an honour for MC Knoll Grade 3 student Zachary Franklin.
Principal for a day was one of the prizes available in the school’s annual fundraising campaign. This year, students at the school are raising money for Free The Children to build a school in Haiti. For every $10 raised students received one raffle ticket. When his name was pulled, Franklin chose to take over Tami Hall’s job.
“I thought it would be a lot of fun,” he said.
It wasn’t all fun and games, though. He, along with vice-principal for a day Rachel Bartel, decided to use the opportunity to continue the fundraising effort.
“It’s 25 cents to use the water fountain,” Franklin said. “It’s not charging; it’s actually so [the students] can think about what we have. We have running water, but kids in Haiti don’t, and we have a school, but kids in Haiti don’t.”
Hall was impressed.
“I was very proud of Zach and Rachel, our vice-principal. Rachel was our principal for a day last year. Her name was drawn before Zach’s, so she had a chance to pull it again and she had been looking forward to it for weeks. I was proud of her because she knew Zach really wanted it, so she gave it up, took vice-principal, and let Zach take it.
“Both of these students, they could have had mini-Kobos, there was a bicycle there, there was a $200 gift certificate, but they chose to be principal and vice-principle. It really makes me feel good that we have such leaders in our school and such caring children to think up the initiative for the water.”
So far, the school is almost halfway to the $10,000 goal that will build a school in Haiti. The annual “Survivor” day was the big event raising $3,100. During the day all the students participate in various learning and fun activities in the gym. After school, the Grade 7s and 8s stick around and try to stay up all night.
Various other fundraising activities, including a gingerbread school raffle at the school’s Christmas concert, have brought the total to approximately $4,500, Hall said.
Students are determined to reach the goal, but if they don’t get there by the end of the school year, Hall said they would explore other options. She said they could extend the fundraiser for another year or possibly partner with other Good Spirit elementary schools that have also done Free the Children projects this year.