For students in April Brunk’s sixth-grade English classes, it began as a way to gain some extra credit, but it ended as a way to help a local child in need.
During the spring semester, the teacher advised the students at Ardmore Middle School they could participate in “plastic for points,” a way for students to earn one-tenth of a bonus point each time they donated one lid. The lids were being collected by cafeteria staff and would be turned in to help offset the cost of dialysis treatment for a young child in the community.
“The initial motivation was the bonus points,” Brunk said. “At the end of each week, I would post how many lids were collected and how many treatments that could mean. Once they could see how much they could help, it really took off.”
With only a week left of classes, Brunk’s students had brought in 20,933 lids. That means the young child will receive 34 dialysis treatments at no costs.
Many students say it was a double win. Not only did they help their English grade, but a child who could use their help.
“We were told it was for a kid in the community,” says Caleb Tollert. “Three times a week he goes for treatment. Every 600 lids, he gets a free treatment.”
Students who participated said it was easy to collect the plastic lids off soda drinks, pill bottles and other types of bottles.
Not only did the students rummage through used drink and other plastic containers at their homes, but many turned to family and friends for help.
“I got some from my house,” says Cassie Andel. “My mom works for Landmark Bank, and she asked for all the branches in southern Oklahoma and north Texas to collect. Also, people at my church were collecting.”
“My mom is a pharmacist at Walmart in Ardmore. I told her about what we were doing and she started collected the lids off bottles there since it was a noble cause,” said Logan Tompson, who said he brought in garbage bags full of lids. “She also got the Madill pharmacy to collect, too. I brought in between 5,000 to 6,000.”
As students brought the lids in, Brunk would count the lids to give the students points. Each week, the pile in the classroom was added to the pile in the cafeteria. Cafeteria staff saved the lids from food containers, and students throughout the school were also encouraged to contribute.
Brunk said many other Ardmore City Schools building participated in the lids benefit.
Students say they are not yet done collecting. Some say their churches have become involved and they will continue to give lids through church this summer to help the child in need.
“It makes me feel happy and I am happy for the baby we could help,” said Jade Russell, who collected around 1,000 lids to contribute.