Polytechnic School First Graders Abuzz for a Good Cause

Published : Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | 10:17 PM

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Rusty Buchanan, first grade teacher at Polytechnic School, let his students buzz his hair today after presenting them with a challenge that they happily surpassed during a recent community service project. The students took turns (with a little help!) with the electric trimmer, and soon Mr. Buchanan was sporting a new, shorter do.

This community service project was started more than a decade ago when a few Poly teachers read an article about a pair of brothers in the area who could not both attend school on the same days because they had to share clothes. Ann Nelson, K-8 service learning coordinator, suggested that the students collect pennies to purchase necessities for needy families.

Today, first-graders collect pennies campus-wide, many even holding their own “fundraisers,” such as one boy who sold his baseball equipment to family and friends and donated the proceeds. The students then count the pennies (with some assistance from their eighth-grade counterparts), after which the money is coverted into bills, which the students use to purchase items such as socks, underwear, and pajamas for those in need.

Polytechnic School, a college-preparatory school established in 1907, is dedicated to the education of students from kindergarten through 12th grade. It is a school founded on the principles of academic excellence, personal and communal responsibility, and service to others. As a community of learning, Poly expects all members to be engaged actively in the quest for knowledge and understanding. The school seeks students who are inquisitive and motivated to learn, faculty who are passionate about their fields of study, and staff who are devoted to supporting the educational mission of the school.

Polytechnic School, 1030 E. California Blvd., Pasadena. Call (626) 396-6300 or visit www.polytechnic.org.

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