Hedding Elementary School in Abingdon collected more pennies than any of the other seven Knox County schools that took part. The drive benefited the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg. The school raised over $635. The campaign raised a total of $1,901.
The annual drive takes it inspiration from a 1909 essay Sandburg wrote to honor the minting of the Lincoln penny. The essay was titled “Lincoln for Pennies.”
The students had just one week to collect the money. Fourth-grader Lukas Tinkham said, ”I just like, got the change out of my piggy bank.”
Lukas was one of four fourth-graders chosen to represent the school by taking the collection to the poet's birthplace. The others are Zach Redding, Karegan Martin and Abby Tinkham.
The fourth-grade classes led the parade by organizing the school's collection effort. Pam Foutch teaches one of those classes. She said the kids “really took the challenge.”
The winning room in the winning school belonged to her fourth-grade colleague, Susan Dehority. Her class raised $125 in pennies.
The man who was the first principal of Hedding School now serves on the board for the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site. He said the money is nice, but the “Penny Parade” will draw much-needed attention to the site.
Shover said the school would like to send students to the site for field trips this spring. He worries whether the site will even open due to state funding cuts.