When Fort Smith teacher Tracy Floyd challenged her third-grade class at Carnall Elementary to come up with ways to help others, Zhane Duncan didn’t hesitate. He came back the next day with Pennies for Patients, a project to collect spare change from his classmates.
The plan didn’t end there. He asked the other students in his class to make posters advertising the program and to decorate collection jars. He even created a skit to show how money would help doctors, patients and families. The class collected $146.93.
“At Carnall, we learn a lot about leadership and leadership skills. We teach the kids that they must first be the leader of themselves, then they may be able to lead others,” Tracy says. “Zhane is a natural leader. He puts first things first and works to synergize with others. His leadership throughout this project is what made it possible.”
Zhane’s mother, Kathy, says her 9-year-old son was a sick baby who suffered from ear infections and respiratory syncytial virus. Last year, an audiologist at ACH diagnosed Zhane with Auditory Processing Disorder. APD can include hearing loss, which occurred in Zhane’s case. He will return to ACH annually for further evaluations.
His mother says that when Zhane saw other children at ACH, his “anxiety of having a problem decreased and his only thought was that he should do something to help them.”
“He has a heart of gold and has always taken care of the ones around him,” Kathy says. “He was so excited to help.”
ACH has a similar program called Change Angels. The angels collect spare change from friends, family and classmates to support the hospital as part of the Champions for Children Radiothon. For more information, go to www.achchangeangels.com.