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Parkview Elementary students raise money for Whatcom Humane Society

Students at Parkview Elementary raised nearly $400 in a penny drive this week to benefit the Whatcom Humane Society.

The project was part of the Bellingham School District's mission called Bellingham Promise, which in part helps broaden educational opportunities and connect students to their community. Fifth-grade teacher Kate Mills took the program to heart, dividing her classes in groups that were challenged to set goals in four areas - become more skilled at using technology; developing a passion for learning; becoming artists, performers and trades people, and contributing to the community.

The penny drive evolved from the latter group. Mills and her students put penny jars through the school last week to encourage donations and met with each classroom to explain their goal. They counted the pennies Monday, Dec. 15.

"I love how the Bellingham Promise really talks about the 'whole child' and not just the academics." Mills said in an email. "I'm thankful to work for this district and appreciate the value that kids can not only set goals to make growth academically, but in other areas that will enable them to be a contributing member to our society and community in a variety of ways."

The students who organized the project are Irena Shaskina, Emeleah Magana, Haleigh Weis, Katelynn Tygret, Caitlyn Sundin, Jocelyn Elofson and Aulin Walker.