Sell a sucker. Take a stuffed animal to class. Spike up that hair.
The tactics that members of Sunset Hills Elementary School's student government use to raise money for Omaha charities aren't conventional. But student government adviser Elizabeth Ashley-Laing, a fifth-grade teacher at Sunset Hills, said the members know what they're doing. “They take it very seriously,” she said.
Sunset Hills donates to a specific local charity each month. One month, that's The World-Herald's Goodfellows, which offers one-time emergency aid and holiday food certificates to needy people in our area.
The student government — 21 students from third grade through sixth grade — have “spirit days,” which can be anything from Costume Day to Crazy Hair Day to Bring a Stuffed Animal to Class Day.
To participate, a student must donate 50 cents for the charity of the month. So far this year the school has donated to the Westside Coat Closet and the Lydia House homeless shelter.
For the most part, student government members come up with the fundraising ideas on their own. Even when Ashley-Laing has to step in as the voice of reason when ideas become too crazy during once-a-month meetings, she knows the kids mean well.
“They come up with something impractical sometimes,” Ashley-Laing said with a chuckle. “They do a great job, though, and they are so enthusiastic about everything.
“I'm just very proud of them.”