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Fairmount first-graders collect soda can tabs for Ronald McDonald House

First-grade students from Kristin Van Giesen’s [back-right] class at Fairmount Elementary show off their soda can tab collection for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

It takes countless soda cans to collect enough tabs to fill the back of an SUV, but a group of first-graders in the Francis Howell School District did just that.

The service project, which started in a Fairmount Elementary classroom, surpassed expectations to become more than a lesson. Students in Kristen Van Giesen’s class took on a project to collect the aluminum tabs from the tops of cans for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Van Giesen knew how much her students wanted to help others – and Van Giesen gave them a reason. Two of her close friends lost their young child to cancer. During the family’s time of need, they were able to stay at a Ronald McDonald House at no charge.

“Since Ronald McDonald gets most of their money from tab donations, I decided to have my class, as well as other first-graders, administrators, teachers and custodial staff, collect tabs the entire year,” said Van Giesen.

Overall, they collected nearly 20 large buckets of tabs. Van Giesen’s friends were “overwhelmed and blown away” by the effort. They visited the class and praised the generosity of the school community. They also accepted the tabs to give to Ronald McDonald House on their child’s birthday.

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