It isn’t in their job descriptions, but that didn’t stop four staff members of Summit Academy Secondary School Lorain from fulfilling their promise to eat a live cricket in front of the students.
At the beginning of this year’s Pennies for Patients fundraising drive, students were promised that if they raised $600, they would have the pleasure of watching instructional assistant Amanda Kobal, instructional assistant Matthew Lappa, intervention specialist Alecia DiSilvester and director Joshua Preece pick up a live cricket and eat it.
“I swallowed it whole and knocked it back with a Coke Zero,” Mr. Preece said. “The others chewed it and said it tasted like dirt.”
To see the cricket-eating festivities, click on this link http://youtu.be/ZC9LI3jfgkE which was videotaped during the school’s spirit week.
Mr. Preece said he never expected to eat the cricket and was amazed that students set this new record for fundraising.
Pennies for Patients is a tradition at Lorain Secondary that was started in 2001 by former director Karen Combs.
The money goes to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Northern Ohio Chapter. Mr. Preece said the charity is focused on educating the students and provides a wealth of information, posters and DVDs with local people who are battling the blood diseases.
“They help students to put a human face on it,” Mr. Preece said.pooh students 2
This year’s fundraiser featured a tiered reward system. After $100 was raised, students earned a “hat day.” But the fun didn’t stop there:
- At $150, students got a dress down day.
- When the total reached $200, Mrs. Mary Sprang baked cookies for the entire school and Ms. Amanda Wiesehan played “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on her trumpet before school announcements.
- At the $250 level, the Secondary Spartan of the Month got to toss a whipped cream pie at Mr. Aaron Kodman’s face during the staff vs. student basketball game.
- When the students raised $300, Mrs. Heidi Valichnac taught in a gorilla costume for a full day.
After the school raised $350, 10 lucky students got to throw water balloons at Mr. Steven Baker and Ms. Carla Campanella..
- At the $400 mark, Mr. Keith Whitman dressed up like a chicken and handed out candy during dismissal.
When the students accumulated $450, they got their pictures taken with Ms. Jane Schaen who was dressed as Winnie The Pooh.
- Once $500 was collected, Mr.John Igrec got a Mohawk haircut. At the $550 level, the school earned an ice cream sundae bar for all the staff and students.
To his amazement, Mr. Preece said, the students hit every level. In addition, students were allowed to donate the tickets they received in the school’s token economy system. An anonymous donor pledged 2.5 cents for every ticket donated and Mr. Preece said he believes that donation represented nearly $500 of the total.
“The students were extremely generous with their tickets,” he said. “This allowed even the lowest socio-economic group of students to give of themselves.”
With the crickets barely digested, Mr. Preece vowed he will eat a cricket next year if it helps the students reach their goal.
“But I think we may set the bar a little higher next year,” he predicted.