The Story of Igor and the Fifth Graders

By: Nancy Cohen, fifth grade history teacher
   Every once in a while a gift proves itself out of the ordinary right from the beginning. That was what it was like with Igor. The girls loved him and dressed him for holidays, had a marriage ceremony for him and then began “feeding” him dimes, nickels and quarters.
     I began putting skittles in his “pen” and the gift that keeps on giving was created in the fifth grade. They came up with a rubric for how many skittles each coin was worth. Money was counted, coins rolled and deposited in our account in the business office.
     The first year we collected about $125 in less than four months. What to do with the money? A party was the first thought from the girls, but, after a discussion, they decided to donate the money to charity. Igor is now a permanent part of the fifth grade and he has become quite well known. For the past two years, the fifth grade class has continued caring for Igor. Two years ago they earned $1,200 and the charity they chose was Cancer Research.
     Last year the current sixth grade class raised $2000 and chose heart research as their charity.A check was presented to the American Hearth Association last month.
     The current fifth grade has already set a goal to surpass the total from last year. Igor represents our motto of “What we keep we lose, only what we give remains our own.”

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