•    An inspiring story from the Daily Mountain Eagle - Students from Curry Elementary get a lesson in helping others!
         A math lesson for a Curry Elementary third-grade class will end up feeding more than 60 people in need of a Thanksgiving dinner this holiday season.

         The school’s third-grade classes usually have a semester-long activity in which students collect 1,000 items. Many collect pull tabs from soda cans, but as Ericalyn Hulsey considered what her class should gather, she said her mind went to a pamphlet she received from the Jimmie Hale Mission, a Birmingham-area resource center for the homeless.

         “We all got together and talked about how great it would be to help other people with this,” she said.

         As the students scoured for the pennies over the semester, Hulsey each day would have them roll the coins up. While they organized the currency, she would ask them how many stacks of 10 would amount to a dollar or how many they would need to make 95 cents from 91 cents.

         Hulsey said, when the students learned 195 pennies provide a meal at the Mission, their interest in the project intensified.

         “Our math lesson has gone from 45 minutes to an hour and a half,” she said.

         When the class finished the project on Wednesday, the students had collected $121.80 or 12,180 pennies, which will feed 62 people at the Jimmie Hale Mission’s Thanksgiving dinner.

         “They (the students) were ecstatic,” Hulsey said.

         Tony Cooper, executive director for the Jimmie Hale Mission, said the staff of the organization was moved to hear about the class project, and representatives from the Mission plan to award the third graders with a plaque in January.

         “It’s inspiring,” Cooper said. “It just encourages me that they would do that, and we’re very grateful they would choose use.”

         Cooper said the parents and teachers in Curry should be commended for stressing the importance of charitable work to children in the community.

         “It’s good for us to receive it, but it’s probably more beneficial because of the values being instilled in these kids at such an early age.”

         The Jimmie Hale Mission was founded in 1944. In addition to providing holiday meals to those in need, the organization also maintains homeless shelters, fundraising thrift stores, substance abuse counseling and career readiness centers to residents in the Birmingham area.

    Story by Daniel Gaddy from Daily Mountain Eagle


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