Pleasant Valley clans pinch pennies

North-end students add News Bulletin campaign to list of charitable activities

Pleasant Valley Elementary School students Hayley Arneson

Pleasant Valley Elementary School students Hayley Arneson

It’s the time of year when the four clans at Pleasant View Elementary School focus on generosity.

One of the ways the students chose to help others is through a coin drive for the News Bulletin’s Pennies for Presents campaign.

At the start of the school year, the students are grouped into clans – wolf, bear, eagle and whale. Each clan has a virtue attached, like belonging or generosity, which the students focus on throughout the school year.

In the north-end school’s foyer are four, five-gallon water jugs, representing donations from each of the clans. The jug with the most coins wins bragging rights.

The goal is not to foster competition but rather to teach the students to be good citizens of their community.

“We just try and promote generosity,” said principal Kathy Bergman.

The clans include families by grouping siblings together. That’s led to families organizing donations to the coin drive, often saving throughout the year.

“Often, in the morning, I’ll see students with their parents dropping off their coins,” Bergman said. “Some had just bags of it.”

Money raised from Pennies for Presents goes to three charities in Nanaimo – the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, Salvation Army and Nanaimo Boys and Girls Club. Those groups provide gifts for children at Christmas, who otherwise would have nothing under the tree on Christmas morning.

Pennies for Presents isn’t the only lesson in generosity for Pleasant Valley students – they also organized a food drive for Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank, and two of the school’s classes walked to the nearby Real Canadian Superstore to donate to the Salvation Army kettle campaign. A class will also volunteer at the Sally Ann’s Hamperville this month.

Pennies for Presents continues until Dec. 16. Please drop off donations to the News Bulletin office at 777 Poplar St., or one of the community drop off locations: InPrint downtown; John’s Bedroom Barn; Northridge Fitness; Canadian Tire; Sink or Swim Scuba; La-Z-Boy; Royal LePage at Brooks Landing; Coast Realty downtown; Cline medical centre; Quality Foods in University Village (Harewood).

For information, please call 250-734-4627.


WHERE DID YOU DONATE? Tell us where and when you donated to Pennies for Presents at Readers can also upload photos of their efforts to collect and donate.