Thursday, June 4, 2015

Students donate proceeds from year of service work

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Wednesday June 3, 2015 8:50 PM

Cherrington fifth-grade students learned that regardless of their age, they can make a difference by raising money to help others.

From their hard work, a $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior from the Westerville City School District.

At an assembly held at Cherrington May 14, fifth-grade students proudly presented a check to the Curt Jackowski Memorial Scholarship Fund in the amount of $1,464.06.

Val Jackowski, Curt's widow and a fourth-grade teacher at Cherrington, accepted the check on behalf of the new foundation.

Curt Jackowski, a longtime Westerville schools administrator and principal of Westerville North from 2003 to 2007, died July 20 after an eight-year battle with cancer. He was 48.

Mrs. Jackowski said students in her classroom last year were aware of her husband's diagnosis with cancer.

When her students moved on to fifth grade in the fall, teachers helped the students organize three community service projects to benefit the new Curt Jackowski Memorial Scholarship Fund.

"They were so amazing," Mrs. Jackowski said. "They would come in at recess to work on posters and they took such pride in what they were doing."

She said that her dream is that one of those fifth-grade students, who last month graduated from Cherrington, will later receive the scholarship that they helped make possible.

"I'm so proud of their work. I held back tears. Cherrington is a quiet little school and I hope that the students learned that even by doing something small, their work will ripple out and help many people," she said.

In the fall, the students organized a buyback of excess Halloween candy and raised $275. Cherrington pupils contributed 217 pounds of candy, which was delivered to Copeland Mill Dental to be sent to troops overseas.

They also worked for donations as elves at the school's Winterfest, its annual winter craft bazaar.

After spring break, they held a pancake dinner where they raised money through ticket purchases.

"The kids worked in shifts as waiters and waitresses and so many of the students wanted to help out at this event," Mrs. Jackowski said.

Next year, she said, new students will hopefully vote on new projects and the service work could become a tradition at Cherrington.

Mrs. Jackowski said she hopes the fundraising has helped teach the children, "little things can mean the world."