Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Beltsville students raise money with pledge-based contest

Funds will go to school equipment

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Beltsville Elementary School students had an opportunity to raise money for their school and show off their smarts on Tuesday.

They participated in Mind Core, which offered them a chance to learn while raising money for the school.

Each student answered 100 regular questions plus three bonus questions after getting pledges from family and friends to receive a certain amount of money for correct answers.

All the money goes to the Parent-Teacher Association and then to the school to buy needed items such as software for the computers in the lab, DVD players for the classroom and minor recess equipment like jump ropes, balls and hoops, said Assistant Principal Leslie Lowe.

With the money, the PTA plans to buy a book for each student, as well as a monthly magazine that the students will use during classroom instruction. Third-graders through sixth-graders will receive ‘‘Time for Kids” and pre-kindergarten to second graders will receive ‘‘The Scholastic News.”

All 778 students took the test individually in the gym with the help of a volunteer who was either a parent, business person or former teacher, Lowe said.

Sixth-grader Rebecca Vaughan studied hard with her father Michael during dinner, said her mom Mary Anne Vaughan, who volunteered at the competition.

‘‘It’s a fun process,” said Vaughn of her daughter’s reaction.

The effort paid off. Rebecca scored 103 —the highest score possible. She raised $82.10.

Volunteer Deborah Jackson of Lanham tested first-grader Savannah Barton.

‘‘How many eggs are in a dozen?” Jackson asked. At first Savannah didn’t know, but then she remembered it was 12. Her score was 74.

First-grader Liset Quinteros answered questions ranging from ‘‘Can you count by five to the number 30?” to ‘‘What is the strongest muscle in your body?”

Lowe said the school raised $8,600 last year from Mind Core and has pledges this year for $8,300. Local businesses contribute to the fund, Lowe said. Behnke’s Nursery contributed $50 and Crescent Nursery and Day Care donated $100 this year.