Penny Dreadfuls

, , , , , | Learning | February 9, 2018

(I am a volunteer with my kids’ school’s parent group. We are raising money for new playground equipment and it is decided to involve the kids in a small way by doing a penny drive. Each class is to collect as many pennies as possible. On the big day, each class will count and put their pennies in the pre-rolled wrappers we provide. Parent volunteers go to each class to explain the process. My first class is the kindergarten kids. They are sitting on the floor in a semicircle with their piles of pennies in front of them, ready to go to work.)

Me: “Okay, guys, I’m going to show you how to roll your piles of pennies into these tubes. We have to have 50 pennies in each tube. How many of you can count to 50?”

(There are a lot of worried looks from the kids at this point.)

Me: “Okay, how many of you can count to ten?”

(All hands shoot up, and I show them how to make five piles of ten, and how to put the pennies into the rolls.)

Me: “Do you need me to show you again?”

Student: *as she waves me off* “No, we’ve got it!”

(At the end of the day, we collect the rolls from each class. In the grade-four class, they have all the rolls on a table, and I can see things aren’t right. Some rolls are so full the paper can’t be crimped over the end, while some are obviously not full at all.)

Me: “[Teacher], these aren’t right; they’ll all have to be recounted.”

Teacher: “Oh, does the bank care about that?”

(The upshot was that I took almost $600 in pennies home, and with the help of my three kids I made sure that all the rolls from the entire school were done right, as the quality seemed to decrease with the students’ ages. The only class to get it perfect was the kindergarten kids. I guess they wanted to prove that they could count, while the others didn’t care.)