Cents for Central School Challenge

Takes Mount Prospect Schools by Storm

Schoolchildren and teens across Mount Prospect are responding to the challenge posed by the Mount Prospect Historical Society earlier this month in a myriad of exciting and innovative ways.

The challenge is to raise funds to complete the restoration of the 1896 one-room schoolhouse through the collection of the spare change we all have lying around our houses, cars and lockers.  Large plastic containers were distributed to the participating schools and other Village locations during the last week of September and students and members of the public are being encouraged to drop off that change throughout the month of October.

spilled-moneyThe schools involved are approaching the challenge in a variety of ways.  For instance, Lincoln Middle School Principal Jason Kaiz has pledged to the students that if they raise $1,000 total for the schoolhouse, he will shave a lion (the school’s mascot) into his hair.  The faculty has also set up jugs where students can vote for a “teacher torture” by putting money in that particular jug.

“Our French and Spanish teachers, for example, are willing to switch classes for a day.  If that is what a student wants to happen, they put their spare change in that jug,” explained Kate Sassatelli.  She is coordinating the effort with fellow teacher Susan Howard.  The students will get to enjoy whichever proposed “teacher torture” raised the most money from students.

St. Paul Lutheran School kicked off its fundraising-coin collecting drive with a “Choose Your Own Dress-Up Day” on October 9.

“The kids were really excited.  The jug is about one-third full and we have small Gatorade bottles with a label in each classroom to keep it in front of everyone’s attention.  As they get filled we dump them into the big jug in the entryway downstairs,” said Deb Rittle, the third grade teacher who has taken on the project coordination at St. Paul.

At Fairview School, the school’s Global Team is sponsoring the Cents for Central School project, according to Michele Logar.  The Global Team focuses on encouraging students to become “citizens of our school, our community and our world.”

Meanwhile, across town at Lions Park School, coordinator Tobey Black is having the collection jug passed from grade level to grade level throughout the week, collecting change as it moves.
“I thought it might be fun for the kids to see the change growing.  It has already become heavy enough that we are moving it on a cart,” she explained.
Indian Grove School is also participating in the ‘Cents for Central School’ contest.  Coordinator Carrie Stewarts said that the Grover Community Service Group has passed out containers to all the classrooms for the donations.  They have also distributed flyers to all the students and displayed posters throughout the school.  In addition, they are encouraging students to collect for Central School with a bulletin board that displays how much money has been raised by each classroom, side by side.

Prospect High School is also displaying the collection jugs and encouraging students to contribute their spare change to the effort.

pumpkin-1All of the schools are encouraging their students to “Trick or Treat for Central School” on Halloween, using decorated milk containers from the school cafeteria.  That money, too, will be dropped into the various schools’ collection jugs to swell their collections.

The schools’ collection jugs will then be picked up by representatives of the Mount Prospect Historical Society during the first week of November and taken to Village Bank & Trust for counting.

Students from the winning school will be allowed to sign their names on paneling that will be preserved within the walls of Central School as a time capsule for the future.  The winning school will also earn an MPTV-televised proclamation from Mayor Arlene Juracek and the Village Board.  The certificate can be framed and hung in the school for years to come as a testament to the school’s leadership role in the community.

“Mount Prospect will celebrate its 100th birthday on February 3, 2017, and we hope to re-enact the signing of the Village’s papers of incorporation in the historic building where it actually took place a century ago.  In order for that to happen and for the schoolhouse to be opened for school field trips and public gatherings, the restoration needs to be completed,” Jill Friedrichs, campaign co-chairman, explained.

“Since the Mount Prospect Historical Society began its adventure in 2003, the Society has raised – and expended – $370,000, almost entirely from private, local sources,” explained Frank Corry, Mount Prospect Historical Society president.  “We have completed the move of the building, interior demolition, repair/replacement of the back wall and roof, structural reinforcement of the floor, construction of an interior utility stairway and installation of the electrical, HVAC, fire alarm and sprinkler systems.  It has been an exciting project and we are almost to our ultimate goal of restoring this iconic remnant of Mount Prospect’s past.”

For more information about the Central School restoration, phone the Mount Prospect Historical Society at 847-392-9006.

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