Shrewsbury – When the first grade students in Martha Kinback’s class at the Spring Street School heard that her daughter, Emily Anderson, was planning to run in the Boston Marathon this year to raise funds for the Massachusetts General Hospital Down Syndrome Clinic, they decided they wanted to support her. Anderson, who is Kinback’s daughter, has a little girl of her own, Andie, who has Down syndrome.
What transpired next – the initiative “Race for Change” – was not only a significant amount of funds raised for Anderson’s team, but also an important lesson for the young students on the power of giving back to others.
The fundraiser was started when Ella Baldor, a student in Kinback’s class, told her mother, Rebecca, that she wanted to donate her spare change to Anderson. The Baldor family decided to see if others would like to do so as well. In an email to Kinback, Rebecca detailed what came next.
“When the idea for the ‘Race for Change’ was presented to your first graders, they immediately recognized the calling to make a difference by leading their Spring Street colleagues in the ‘Race for Change’. They were thrilled by the idea of ‘Change’ and talked about the dual definition of the word and all of the students agreed that they had fun finding change around their homes, in their parents’ cars, etc.,” she wrote.
“We spent an afternoon making posters and buckets to collect the donations. It was amazing to see the enthusiasm, determination, and compassion of these 6 and 7 year olds as they put all their energy into making a difference,” she added. “And knowing that their efforts were somehow linked back to you, made your first graders super passionate about their cause. Of course, they also liked that they were going ‘surprise you’.”
Over three days, children brought in spare change, raising a very impressive $1,481.
Principal Bryan Mabie also got into the spirit of the competition and promised frozen juice pops for the winning class.
Baldor noted that the challenge truly “exemplified the Spring Street core values which have been powerfully instilled.” A third grader, she noted, “actually put her $25 in change into the first grade bucket instead of that of the third grade because she thought that first grade really deserved to win the challenge. She truly demonstrated extraordinary unselfishness. Spring Street school has proven that simple acts of kindness and some of society’s youngest members can make a difference.”
To learn more about Emily and Andie Anderson visit https://www.communityadvocate.com/2017/03/09/shrewsbury-mother-to-run-boston-marathon-for-down-syndrome-clinic.