Rock Hill kindergarteners learn power of earning and giving

Kindergarten students from Westminster Catawba Christian School in Rock Hill learned the value of a dollar – and the value of giving to those less fortunate – through a lesson in math, hard work and responsibility.

Since the beginning of the year, the kindergarteners in Mary Weaver’s and Jean Erle’s classes have been earning pennies by doing chores around their homes. Then on Monday, the 100th day of school, they got to exchange those 100 pennies for a dollar, enough to purchase something at the Dollar Tree on Cherry Road during a Friday morning shopping trip.

“We wanted the children to know the joy of giving,” said Weaver, who has been doing this project with her students for 15 years.

Instead of buying a toy or candy bar for themselves, the students purchased items for the Children’s Attention Home in Rock Hill, gifts such as snacks, wipes and toiletry items.

“I got my pennies and put them in a row,” said Carly Parks, who walked around the store with fellow student Laine Beckham, picking out combs and baby wipes to give to the Children’s Attention Home, which provides shelter and services to abused, neglected and abandoned children.

Carly and Laine said they cleaned up their belongings, took out the trash, cleaned fish tanks and did other things to help their families at home to earn enough money to buy items for others.

“I did it so that they can have stuff that they need,” Carly said.

Rosalyn Campbell, whose granddaughter, Caidyn, is in kindergarten, went to the Dollar Tree to help students pick out their items. She said this lesson has really sunk in with Caidyn.

“She’s learned that there are people that are less fortunate,” Campbell said. “I tell her to remember that her having things is a blessing.”

Campbell said the most surprising part of the experience came one morning when she went into her bedroom and discovered Caidyn had made her grandmother’s bed, all to earn a few extra pennies.

Teaching the children to both work hard for their money and to spend it on those who need it most is what this project is all about, Erle, one of the teachers, said.

“It’s all about learning to be a giver, as God would have us do,” Weaver, the other teacher, said.

And Carly, holding on to the 3-pack of combs she picked out so three children could be helped instead of one, said shopping for others was more fun than shopping for herself.

“It makes you happy a lot,” she said.