Counting pennies makes sense, gives scholarship |

Counting pennies makes sense, gives scholarship

Group from GrandKids Child Care Center involved in 'I Cent a Student to College'

Money may be a hard-to-grasp concept for most preschoolers and kindergartners, but it appears giving is not.

A group of seven GrandKids Child Care Center students wheeled a wagon full of pennies down Lincoln Avenue and into the front doors of Community First National Bank on Tuesday, bringing an end — at least for now — to the latest “I Cent a Student to College” scholarship drive.

The pennies were collected in September during the First Impressions Tot Trot, a fun race for children 8 and younger. More than 80 youngsters ran in this year’s Tot Trot, which was held at the Steamboat Pilot & Today building.

Many of the race participants brought pennies, which were combined and transported to the bank Tuesday for counting. The $200 raised by Routt County children will be given as a scholarship to a county high school senior this spring.

“We’re going to have the money stay in a special place until we’re ready to give it to a senior,” First Impressions Director Renee Donahue told the group of youngsters while a Community First employee added up the pennies.

GrandKids students got the privilege of taking the pennies to the bank because they had the biggest turnout at the Tot Trot race, 18 participants, Donahue said.

First Impressions took control of the Tot Trot race this year after the Kinderhaus Family Center closed because of financial difficulties. Kinderhaus founder Diane Carter started the Tot Trot 10 years ago to instill a sense of community in children. Carter asked First Impressions to continue the race when Kinderhaus closed.

“It’s a great event,” Donahue said of the race. “It’s a great way to tie the younger kids to the older kids.”

Donahue said First Impressions hopes to encourage children to collect additional pennies during a scholarship drive in April, the Month of the Young Child.

First Impressions will continue to sponsor the race in the future. The group hasn’t determined the criteria by which the scholarship recipient will be judged, but a student’s desire to enter the field of education likely will play a large role in the process, Donahue said.

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