Greensview Elementary School fourth-graders rocked on last week in an effort to help families in need and children with cancer.
Teacher Suzanne Kotch said the annual fundraiser brought in $6,000 that students spent at a Target store to buy gifts and necessary items on "wish lists" from Nationwide Children's Hospital's oncology floor, the Clintonville Beechwold Community Center, the Ronald McDonald House and Faith Mission of Ohio.
The Greensview Rockathon was held Thursday, Dec. 13.
"The kids brought in rocking chairs and from 3 to 7 p.m., they rocked in increments of 40 minutes," Kotch said.
She said while some students were rocking, others were playing board games or electronic games or just visiting together.
A $300 learn-and-serve grant from the Upper Arlington Education Foundation provided supplies, such as a pizza dinner during the evening, and paid for buses to bring students home, Kotch said.
"The kids had a great time rocking and at the end of the evening, we all watched a movie together: Night at the Museum," she said.
Kotch said the fundraiser did not end with the rocking.
"We took all the kids to Target with their calculators and told them to spend $145 per person, using wish lists provided by the organizations," she said. "Target also donated an extra $200 in merchandise."
She said students "adopted" the families on the wish list and talked about what each person needed as they bought gifts, with the help of parent volunteers.
"Target opened up two checkout lines just for Greensview," Kotch said. "As the kids were going through the store, they talked about each person and what their favorite color was, or if they needed a new coat, how to buy one that looked like it would last. The kids learned a lot about the difference between basic needs and wants."
She said teachers talked to students about how it must feel to be away or in a hospital during the holidays and how a homeless person may not even have a change of underwear.
"They laugh when we talk about something as simple as underwear being on someone's wish list, but then when they think about it, they realize how bad it would be not to have things as basic as underwear or a warm winter coat," Kotch said.
Greensview has held the Rockathon for the past 10 years and has raised as much as $11,000 for various charities.
"We did raise more than we expected to this year, so we were able to add Faith Mission to our charity list," she said.
She said students write a reflection letter after the project is finished.
"The letter goes to the people who gave us grant money so that they understand how important it is to be able to continue this fundraiser," she said.
Kotch said fourth-grade teachers Christy Kish and Michelle Johnson also plan and coordinate the fundraiser.
"Especially at this time of year, it is nice for the kids to be thinking of others and thinking, 'What is it that I can do to help?' A lot of the kids did extra chores around the house to save money for the fundraiser," she said.