Lincoln Elementary School students recently combined the Dr. Seuss story, The Lorax, and helping their school and community by participating in a “Money Grows Trees Coin War” fundraiser. For two weeks, students donated their loose change and ultimately raised $229.74. The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation matched the school’s donation, which will enable the City of Jamestown to plant five new trees at Lincoln School.
As students brought in coins, they were able to “plant” their name on the “I Speak For the Trees” wall in the cafeteria, which was created by PTA members Danielle Bowers and MaryAnn DePasquale. Following the 2012 release of “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax movie, the PTA realized students were beginning to understand the importance of keeping their environment healthy. The book chronicles the plight of the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, against the greed of a big business moving into his home and destroying the environment to produce more “thneeds” and make more money. While all of the grades contributed to the fundraiser, first grade raised the most money. On June 8th, Dan Stone, City of Jamestown Arborist, will plant two Dwarf Jack and Jill Pear trees and three Japanese Lilac trees with students near the school’s front entrance on Front Street.
Over the past six years, The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has granted $47,400 to help plant over 350 trees in the City’s school neighborhoods. Seventy trees have been planted in the Lincoln School neighborhood, with the remaining trees benefiting the neighborhoods around Samuel G. Love Elementary School on East Eighth Street, Rogers Elementary School on Hebner Street and Persell Middle School on Baker Street.
“The Community Foundation is delighted to partner with the City of Jamestown and the Jamestown Public Schools on this project. Since our involvement, we have noticed a decrease in vandalism of the trees at the schools we’ve partnered with. Students are taking ownership of the fact that they bought and planted these trees. By allowing students to nurture them and watch them grow, we hope these students will come back to the school and tell their children and grandchildren that they helped plant these trees,” said Randy Sweeney, Executive Director, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. “We are happy to contribute to their efforts to help beautify their school and community as well as the environment. It is a win-win for everyone.”