On Jan, 2, this entire column was filled with a report on contributions to Children's Hospital from students, teachers and school officials. Additional checks that have arrived since then suggest an answer to the frequently heard question, "What do they learn in school these days?"
In an era in which school buildings are being burned and vandalized by young people who are not on the same wavelength with their teachers, we find teachers and students in complete agreement on one subject. Children are learning to share and to be concerened about others.
"Out of 31 people in our class," said a letter from Kenmoor Elementary School in Landover, "28 voted to send our money to Children's Hosptital." The $7.83 check enclosed represented the entire class treasury. They Brownies of Troop 1993, Brookhaven Elementary School in Rockville chipped in $9.
"Some children in a Sixth Grade class at Whetstone Elementary School" added $11. A $15 check was given "in honor of the wonderful children in Room 215" at Beech Tree Elementary School in Falls Church.
From Room 205 of Hunt Valley Elementary School in Springfield came $20 and the explanation, "Our class has been saving our leftover change from lunch for a worthy cause. Before the holidays, we also collected canned goods and toys for needy families."
The Personnel Department at George Washington University sent in $20 not spent on a year-end party. D.C. Fidelis Alpha Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa ("retired teachers with a very warm spot for all children") sent $25. The Junior Red Cross at Jefferson Junior High School in Southwest Washington contributed $29.30 its members made by selling Christmas cards.
Parents and students of Churchill Road Elementary School (McLean) added $33 to the contribution previously made by Churchill's staff. Third Grade and Fourth Grade students at Westbriar Elementary School in Vienna turned down a suggested gift exchange to send me $35.
The Physical Plant Department at the University of Maryland chipped in $37. The Social Science Department at Prince George's Community College raised $40 for the children.
"Students and parents of Woodburn Elementary School" (Falls Church) got up a $41 kitty. Two groups not included in my original report on Rosecroft Park Elementary School (Oxon Hill) added $47.64 to that school's total, with $35.54 coming from one teacher's Third Grade and Fourth Grade classes, and $12.10 from Room 14, a Fourth Grade class. Employees of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics sent in six checks they said added up to $50 -- and by golly, they did.
The staff at the Institute for Educational Leadership at George Washington University took up a $63.44 collection for the children. Staff members of Har Shalom Nursery School in Potomac sent me $65 in the hope that the hospital would be able to "continue its fine tradition of excellent care."
The staff at Hyattsville Junior High School rounded up $66.40 worth of excellent care for a needy child. A Third Grade class at Kent Gardens Elementary School (McLean) made a first class decision not to exchange intramural gifts so that $70.63 could be diverted to the hospital with the built-in deficit. "In our first attempt to raise money for the hospital," the staff of Newport Middle School (Kensington) rounded up an impressive $72.
There are also some three-digit school gifts on today's tally sheet -- starting with an amazing $139.30 "gift of love from Second Grade students at Lynbrook School in Springfield." Can you picture 7-year-olds and 8-year-olds holding a solemn discussion about whether to exchange gifts with each other or give the money to needy children? The thought of it just tears me up.
The faculty of the English Studies Division of Prince George's Community College sent me $140. The Student Cooperative Association Council at Waynewood Elementary School in Alexandria held a toy bazaar that made $150 for the hospital.
Taylor Elementary School in Arlington put together a $224.83 contribution: $150 from no card exchange among the staff and $74.83 from Fourth Graders who got a teeny bit of help from their teachers.
Easily the largest school gift of the day was the $335 contributed by the staff of Springbrook High School (Silver Spring) in memory of two departed colleagues.
The abacus says these gifts add up to $1,747.37 and that the shoebox now holds $126,652.80.