According to Christine McCafferty, reading teacher at Buffton Elementary, the elementary students in grades K through 5 collected $3,172.44 in change for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in a Pennies for Patients drive. McCafferty says that every year the elementary collects items for something or someone in need as a way of instilling in students the idea of helping out others in time of need. She believes “blood cancer is something that, sadly, everyone has a connection to whether they know someone who is fighting it currently, or someone who has fought it in the past, or they themselves have experienced it first hand.” For three weeks, the students brought in change or dollars that they collected from home, family members and their own piggy banks to place in jugs in their classrooms. There was a competition among the grade levels, and the winner, the class with the most money collected by Friday, Dec. 16, would receive a pizza party. This year’s winner was the kindergarten class with a whopping $995.38. Coming in as runner up was the second grade class with $670.73. Other totals included first grade, $471.46; third grade, $489.56; fourth grade, $354.51; and fifth grade, $190.80. During the day, McCafferty’s reading classes took bags of money to the bank to be counted. While there, the students were able to see how much money the change all added up to and how the coin counter works. They also practiced their estimating skills by trying to guess how much money was in each bag.