“Hat days” are more than fund raisers

Guest blog by Sandra McMahan

Cullowhee Valley ES, Jackson County, NC

In the small, rural area where I teach, it is a big deal for young people to wear “hats.” Especially in the upper grades of our K-8 school, teachers are constantly reminding students to remove their hats during class time.

Five years ago one of our fifth grade students was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.  Her mother struggled to afford the doctor visits and treatments.

A team of teachers and the student council brainstormed ideas to raise money to help the family. The idea came about to have a “hat day.”  Each student, teacher or staff member, who wanted to wear a hat, had to donate a dollar to the cause.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many hats in one place.  There were all kinds of stories about kids that had emptied piggy banks into the collection bin and teachers who donated more than one dollar. We held three “hat days” to help the girl’s family.

Since then, anytime a need arises, or there is a charitable organization in need, we have “hat day.”  And “hat day” has inspired other ideas to raise funds for good causes. It is inspiring to see a whole school come together in support of each other.


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