In recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Ruskin Elementary students, staff, and community members showed just how big their hearts are for all in our community who are affected by childhood cancer. Ruskin was “painted gold” to show their support for Mattie’s’ Mission, a local organization that generously gives to families battling childhood cancer. The school truly had a golden glow as people sported gold-colored attire on a daily basis throughout the month. The halls, walls, and doors also glowed gold as posters, signs, decorations, and inspirational messages were displayed throughout the building.
Students participated in a Penny War in which they brought in coins in a battle between boys and girls to raise the most money in support of former 1st grade student Raylee Metts. The girls were declared the winners, as they brought in over $350 worth of coins. Other fundraisers were ongoing throughout the month as well, including the “Going Gold” sales of various gold-colored items including bracelets, buttons, stickers, and tattoos. Students also had an opportunity to have a buddy picture taken in front of a golden backdrop to show how friends support the cause of childhood cancer awareness.
In addition to these fundraisers, t-shirts were sold on behalf of Raylee and Clayton Lee, a 4th grader at Ruskin who is also a cancer warrior. Ruskin’s generous spirit shined brightly as over $1700 was raised through all of the school fundraisers. In addition, Ruskin partnered with Atlantic Coast Bank to collect a whopping 179.34 pounds of can tabs. Atlantic Coast, in turn, will donate the money generated from the can tabs to Mattie’s Mission. They are also awarding Mrs. Kim Woodard’s second grade class with a pizza party for collecting the most can tabs.
Ruskin Staff members presented Raylee with a special surprise on the afternoon of Friday, September 23rd, when they gathered at her home in Manor to sing Christmas carols. Her yard was transformed into a Christmas wonderland complete with snow, joyful caroling, and most of all the love of her school family in hopes to help make her Christmas wish come true. As a grand finale for September Cancer Awareness Month, students participated in a week of dress- up days and on Friday, September 30th all students and staff formed a human cancer symbol on the front lawn of the school as a symbol of their love and support for Raylee and all of the children in our community who are battling cancer. The Ware County School System and Ruskin Elementary School staff send their heartfelt sympathy and love to the Metts family in the loss of Raylee.