Robert L. Bland Middle School raising money to help animals through friendly competition


WESTON, W.Va. – The Robert L. Bland Middle School is raising money for the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility.

The competition for the donations is called “Pennies for Pets.” The homeroom with the most points will win a prize. Points are decided by what kind of coins the students bring in.

But, there’s a twist!

The money doesn’t go to the homeroom that collects it. Instead, the students give their donations to other homerooms to reduce their point totals. The more money the students give to other homerooms, the more that homeroom’s point total will decrease.

A penny is the only coin that is worth a positive amount: one point. All of the rest are worth negative amounts: a nickel is minus 5; dimes are minus 10; quarters are minus 25; $1 is minus 100; and $5 is minus 500. The goal is to have the most points by the end of the day.

The idea was started by students in the middle school’s “Inspire Program” to bring some fun to the school days.

“One of the ways they could improve school pride, and also include school student-to-student relationships, is by having a little bit of a competition,” Dale Etzel, RLBMS school counselor said.

The program is run by Etzel, along with Marissa Shanholtz, RLBMS CIS, and Josie Bush, RLBMS guidance counselor.

“I feel like it’s brought us all together,” Brenlea Wilson, an RLBMS 8th grader said. “It’s brought grade levels together because they’ve been trying to fight towards one person. Each day, it changes really who is in the leads, and then they all try and get them back down and we’re all helping our community, so it’s really nice.”

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