Skyview Elementary hosts carnival to raise money for local charity

MORGANTOWN — So, what does $4,200 look like at Skyview Elementary School?

Picture 61 cents, in a plastic bag. Pennies, mostly.

Or, a folded-up $5 bill, originally intended as a birthday gift.

Maybe a couple of rumpled $1 bills, even, because sometimes, you can only give … what you can only give.

“That’s how we got most of our donations,” Leigh Smitley said.

“Our kids and our parents are amazing. A lot of our area businesses were very generous, too.”

Smitley is a teacher at the school, located near Westover on River Road.

Tuesday afternoon, all altruistic roads led to Skyview.

The school knocked off classes for a fun carnival, and then followed that up with the presentation of a serious gift.

Once all the coins and bills were counted, the outpouring of $4,200 was  presented to The Source, an afterschool feeding program for needy youngsters housed at Kingdom Evangelical Methodist Church, in Westover.

The program currently serves 275 youngsters, said Leslie Brooks, who helps coordinate the distribution there.

Every year, Skyview picks a community cause to which to donate. Smitley and fellow teacher Bethany Talbert chaired this year’s campaign.

The Rev. Kevin Cain, who pastors at the church, accepted the check, printed on big, Publisher’s Clearinghouse-type stock, with an equal-sized thank you to the Skyview students assembled in the gym.

“We cannot thank you enough for what you did today,” Cain said.

“What you did was selfless,” the clergyman continued, “and I want you to take that with you. I want you to always look for ways you can help the person to your right, and the person to your left, as you’re growing up.”

Skyview Principal Jennifer Cox, who was West Virginia’s state Principal of the Year for 2017, said the above sounded like a good lesson plan to her.

“I think these are the things that stick with kids,” she said, “because that’s when they learn that they can make a difference in the world.”

The students also learned, to their delight, that Skyview’s teachers aren’t above busting out some dance moves when they have to.

On an afternoon that was about money for a good cause, the teachers did a surprise flash-mob routine that was 24-karat magic.

Which, happened to be the Bruno Mars song they danced to on the gym floor, employing the latest steps.

Skyview second-grader David Mason was one of the students pulled from the bleachers to take part.

As teachers, they’re grade A, he said.

But Solid Gold dancers, they’re not, he said.

“Yeah, they left out a lot moves,” he said, grinning.

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