Glenwood Springs Elementary School fifth-graders learn how to make a difference |

Glenwood Springs Elementary School fifth-graders learn how to make a difference

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler/Post IndependentGlenwood Springs Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Chris Mullally, left, and students hand a giant check over to Advocate Safehouse Community Outreach and Volunteer Director Karen Iverson at the Glenwood Springs Community Center ice rink on Friday afternoon.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” When four fifth-grade classes get together for a good cause, great things happen.

“We wanted to have a project that they could give back to the community and really be positive citizens during the season of giving,” said Glenwood Springs Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Gayle Mason.

And that is just what the fifth-grade classes from GSES did.

Students from the four classes decided to raise money for local charities to help them through the holiday season.

“I think we should give them money because in the winter it’s really cold and they can buy blankets, food, and yep, that’s why,” said GSES fifth-grader Angel Vasquez.

The students made “secret snowflakes” out of paper, from photographs of magnified actual snowflakes, according to Mason. The students then sold the snowflakes to other students for 25 cents apiece to give to their friends for Christmas.

In all, the fifth-graders sold more than 1,400 secret snowflakes, raising $371, Mason said.

“It was basically a real simple idea that we are positive citizens, we are young people in this community, but we can give back in a huge way,” Mason said.

It was also the students who chose what local charities would receive the money. Each class chose a single organization ” the four being LIFT-UP, the Extended Table, Mountain Family Health and the Advocate Safehouse ” to receive the money.

“The cool part is that the students came up with the entire project so it was neat to have them do that,” Mason said. “I’m very proud of them.”

The Secret Snowflake Fundraiser culminated in an ice skating party at the Glenwood Springs Community Center for the fifth-grade classes of Mason, Kristen Carlson, Chris Mullally and Beth Knell. The students enjoyed the ice, and each of the charities showed up to receive an oversized check in the amount of $92.75.

While that may not seem like a large amount to some, the gesture alone meant more to Karen Iverson, Community Outreach and Volunteer Director for Advocate Safehouse, than all the money in the world.

“I think it’s incredible that they are aware of who we are and what we do for the community,” Iverson said. “So, to watch kids be involved and want to do this is a great stride for our community and our future.”

For Advocate Safehouse, the money will provide one person two nights at the facility, according to Iverson.

That’s the reason the students wanted to help out.

Fifth-grader Alfredo Vivian said that it’s important to give money to charities “so they can have the best Christmas ever.”

With their help, it just might be.

“I just want to say thank you,” Iverson said after accepting the giant check. “Keep up the good work, it’s a bright spot in our future.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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