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Banks Schools pop tops for children

Having a bright future means having the potential for happiness, no matter what career path one takes. But happiness isn’t dependent on a paycheck or a vacation to some exotic island. Happiness is most often found in doing for others.

That’s exactly what the student population at Banks Schools learned recently when they turned their attention from themselves to others. Less than 300 students in grades K-8 collected 400 pounds of soda can pop tops for Birmingham’s Ronald McDonald House. Ronald McDonald Charities provides a temporary home for families with children who are undergoing treatment for cancer. The students at Banks Schools collected pop tops in honor of one of their own, Alex Morgan, a Banks Primary student who recently completed chemotherapy treatments. Alex’s family stayed at Hope Lodge, which is operated by the American Cancer Society and functions the same as the Ronald McDonald House.

The pop tops collection campaign was a project of the Banks Schools PTO. The Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham has been a home away from home for several families of students at Banks Schools. The TAG classes made signs for the collection and weighed and charted the pop-tops as the students brought them to school.

“The pop tops were collected, weighed and then turned over to a recycling center, which turns the money over to the Ronald McDonald House,” said Carol Macchia, TAG teacher for Banks Schools. “The 400 pounds collected by the students at Banks School earned enough money for one family to stay a week at the Ronald McDonald House. “This was good learning experience for the students. They learned about the Ronald McDonald House, and they had an opportunity to do something for others.” The classes that collected the most pop tops were awarded a pizza party. Karen Smith’s third grade class at Banks Primary School was the top collector with 156 pounds.

Smith said an added incentive for her students was that Alex’s sister, Kaytlin, is a member of the class. “We started collecting before Christmas, so this was a huge effort on the part of my students and all the students at Banks Schools,” Smith said. “The pop tops were easy to collect and to bring to school. All of the students wanted to be a part of this, and they were.” At Banks Middle School, the sixth grade (Phyllis Jackson and Kristie Reaves) topped the pop top scales in the round building and the seventh grade (Tammy Goss and Angelia Smith) was the top collector in the seventh- and eighth-grade building.