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Niwot High students are fighting a "Coin War" against polio


December 11, 2019

Sydney Rothstein

Jars stand in each English classroom to mark each block's earnings

Students of Niwot High School are adding their own two cents to the fight against Polio. Polio (poliomyelitis) is a contagious disease that invades the brain and spinal cord, causing severe paralysis that can lead to health complications and even death.

While public awareness, support, and prevention have been successful in the U.S., there are still places in the world where this disease is left untreated. Niwot's Interact Club members have made it their goal to eradicate this disease, emulating what the Rotary Club does on a larger scale. The Interact Club is a high school organization that does community service through various projects.

To fight polio, the club created a competitive fundraiser among English classes to see which class could collect the most coins. The fundraiser is aptly named The Coin War. The initial goal was to collect $450 over a one month period, and the students rose to the challenge.

Each English class has its own jar where students can contribute their spare change. It may seem like these coins are small contributions, but together they have achieved significant totals. Classes will win prizes based on their respective totals, and the race is tight as the project nears its end. Niwot's English teachers are just as competitive as their students, and everyone is vying for the prizes offered to the top three classes.

Any paper bills placed in a class jar count against that jar's overall total. Students fostered friendly classroom rivalries early on by sabotaging other classes and adding bills to their jars. While bills count against a class's total, they ultimately contribute to the fight against polio. The current leader of the race is Mr. William Pankonin's Block 8 class; no doubt the other classes are looking to sabotage their total soon!

Even though the winners of The Coin War are based on coin count alone, all of the money collected will go to the Rotary Club and its longstanding fight against polio. With only a week left, the fundraiser has not only met its goals, but doubled it. The duality of conducting a fundraiser and a fun school competition allowed the project to be incredibly successful. The total is currently just over $1,000 and will continue to rise as the project comes to a close before the high school's winter break.

The success of this fundraiser couldn't have been achieved without the initiative and creativity of the Interact Club. Whether it be pennies or dollars, students at Niwot are contributing and working together to accomplish a common goal.


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