NAUGATUCK — For one day, students at Cross Street Intermediate didn’t have to worry whether their t-shirts matched their jeans. They simply rolled out of bed and went to school in their pajamas.
Students paid $1 for the privilege of wearing their pajamas during the day, Feb. 3, as part of a fundraiser to support children with cancer. And students weren’t the only ones sporting sleep wear.
“It was really the whole school community that came together for this,” said Amy Zappone, a teacher who helped organized the project.
The school’s student council organized a week-long fundraising drive for Kids Kickin’ Cancer, a nonprofit foundation that financially assists families with children undergoing cancer treatment. According to teacher and student council advisor Kathy Mucha, the student council wanted to help needy children and a letter about this program arrived just at the right time.
In total, Cross Street students and faculty raised $4,867.
“The whole school was very involved and excited about the amount that was raised,” Zappone said.
The school was able to sponsor nine children with $500 grants.
Teacher Maria Ryan said many students solicited donations from their neighbors and parents’ co-workers. While they collected money, some of the students heard poignant stories about friends and loved ones who were suffering from cancer. Other students dipped into their piggy banks to help out.
“People were extremely generous,” Ryan said.
The homeroom with the most donations won the chance to watch a movie of their choice during class. However, Mucha said that wasn’t the motivating factor in the drive.
“It was nothing about the prize. They wanted to help the poor children,” Mucha said.
Despite their good work, the students of Cross Street School haven’t satisfied their desire to give back. The student council is planning a fundraiser for Hidden Acres’ therapeutic riding program, according to Ryan.
All three teachers said their students’ thoughtful response moved them.
“It was just wonderful,” Mucha said.