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The Giving Project

Dani Comer left the adoption fee and some dog food at the Animal Shelter to encourage a family to provide a dog a forever home.

Dani Comer left the adoption fee and some dog food at the Animal Shelter to encourage a family to provide a dog a forever home.

How do you maximize the impact of just $10?

Break the bill down into 40 quarters and disperse the coins in random places throughout school.

That is how Poplar Bluff High School student Alexa King tackled the “giving project” after a friend in need of 25 cents for a vending machine snack got her wheels turning.

“This is the greatest assignment I have ever given in my 26-year teaching career,” stated Beth Fox-Godwin, communication arts teacher. Student Colin Steffens agreed, saying that the book study was his favorite assignment in his four years of high school

Fox-Godwin gave her senior composition class $10 apiece and tasked the students with doing something “kind and simple for our community.”

The funding came from a mini-grant supplied by the nonprofit Academic Assistance Group. The assignment was inspired by a principal at Notre Dame High School who did something similar with an inheritance.

The class was asked to read the book, “The Ultimate Gift,” by Jim Stovall and complete a journal entry for each chapter, which focused on a different type of gift, material or otherwise.

The final project last week was for high schoolers to present how they were able to make a difference in their community with a small amount of money.

(Standing, from left) Brandon Wyatt Jr., Cassie Porter, Michael Wessman, Dani Comer, Chase Burch, Alexa King, Colin Steffens and Sam Vitale; and (seated) Beth Fox-Godwin.

(Standing, from left) Brandon Wyatt Jr., Cassie Porter, Michael Wessman, Dani Comer, Chase Burch, Alexa King, Colin Steffens and Sam Vitale; and (seated) Beth Fox-Godwin.

Students donated to organizations and funds such as Haven House and the Kaitlyn Pullam Scholarship; paid a portion of a hotel for someone traveling for medical care; gave money to a random stranger at Wal-Mart; taped the $10 to a car seat; and bought diapers, meals, cards, school supplies, materials for a blanket and a copy of the book.

Last month, the AAG approved a mini-grant for the project to be extended to Fox-Godwin’s advanced language arts II class, due to its success.