Penny Harvest Mania

3 Comments

Treasure ChestTomorrow’s the first Weigh-in at my school for Penny Harvest, the annual system-wide fundraising event for charities across the US sponsored by Common Cents. I’m anxious and excited all at once to see the turnout for the first week. It’s my first time coaching, but I seem to have already caused waves.

(One of the organizers actually asked me about my blog, because it came up on Google Alerts after my Penny Harvest Math post. He asked me if I wanted to have it linked up on the Common Cents site, and to be blunt, I don’t think a non-partisan organization such as his would want  all the contents of this blog to represent his org. I’m a little left of center. A little. But he’s more than welcome to link specific portions if he wishes.)

So for my first offering to the Penny Harvest, I give you the responsibility sheet I typed up for the Penny Harvest liaisons. The way I organized my school is in circles within circles. The big ring encompasses every homeroom, and those homerooms have 2 liaisons who help promote and encourage the students in their class to bring pennies, and assist in the weigh-in days.

Penny Harvest Liaisons

The second offering I have for my Penny Harvest people is an Excel spreadsheet that will make it easier to organize the classes in your school as well as help students calculate more readily the dollar amounts. Plus, it’s pretty.

Penny Harvest Template

Tomorrow will be an exciting day for sure. I’m still rocking my Penny pin, so that’ll be dope. Secretly, I’m hoping my kids find real value in the charity they’re about to give, and not just winning. We haven’t been as effective with promoting that around the school, so that’s another goal I have for the year.

I also sent out a memo 2-3 weeks ago discussing Penny Harvest, and walking around classrooms making speeches about it. I got some kids excited about the prospects of surpassing all expectations. I then sent out a final memo this morning reminding all homeroom teachers about the schedule tomorrow. They need to be ready because I know I will …

jose, who can’t wait until the kids start doing most of the work …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonPenny Harvest Mania

Comments 3

  1. Melissa

    Thanks for introducing me to this inspiring event. Please keep us updated on the totals as they come in.

    And thank you so much for your visit to my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed Judith Lee’s poem. She is a social worker who writes passionately and eloquently on empowerment practice.

  2. Frumteacher

    Thanks for the documents, it looks really professiona. Since I am not familiar with the PH system, I was wondering what happends with the 4/5 of the money that doesn’t go to charity. Does it go to the school? What charities did they choose?

    Can’t wait to hear more!

  3. Adam

    Jose,

    It’s Adam, “the Penny Harvest organizer.” I just checked out your post and you’re probably right that we need to use caution before linking to blogs, but it’s inspiring to see your posts and all of the organizing work you’ve put into the Penny Harvest and your teaching. I know other teachers would learn a lot from it.

    One other note: I especially appreciate the difficulty of keeping the focus on why students are gathering pennies (other than a pizza party). I love your idea to offer the winning classes some piece of the roundtable decision-making. I know of a few other schools that do that and it works really well. My other recommendation, which you’re probably already doing, is to use the weigh-ins as an opportunity to reinforce the goals (i.e. we now have 15 sacks and that will help us make a difference…BUT remember you’re caring card and remember, the more we collect, the more we can help…). Also, if you can post the caring cards in a public place, that can help too.

    Best of luck.

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