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April 29, 2011


Elementary Students Don Hats for a Good Cause

Sixth grader Riley Sporleder was fed up. He and some of his classmates didn’t like a certain aspect of the dress code. “We were tired of not being able to wear hats in the building,” he said. Dr. Arnold, principal of MRH Elementary, explained the no hats policy and why students aren’t allowed to wear hats except on special occasions.

What’s a kid to do? Hold a fundraiser.

Riley collaborated with fellow sixth graders Makayla Contestabile and Gwen Mayhall to suggest not just the idea for students to wear hats, but also for a more extraordinary purpose. The idea was to allow students to wear hats if they donated $1 to a local charity. The charity the students chose was the Animal Protective Association of Missouri, an animal shelter for unwanted pets. With Dr. Arnold’s blessing, the project was dubbed “Hats on Day” and took place on Friday, March 30.

In order to kick off the event, the three civic-minded students invited Michelle Kodner, humane educator from the APA, to visit the school and speak about the organization. At the Hats on Day the following week, elementary students raised $120.10!

“The staff and dogs and cats of the APA would like to say a big ‘Thank You!’ to Riley, Makayla, and Gwen for thinking of us and creating a fun event where kids could contribute to taking care of the animals,” said Kodner. “We were so impressed with the leadership and caring shown by Riley, Makayla and Gwen.”

Riley was pleased with how the event turned out. “I thought it went good. We really raised a lot of money. It really felt good to see smiles on their faces at the APA when we walked in with that bag of money.”

Madeline Gill, '13, contributed to this story.

For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.