Students and staff members at Bernard Campbell Middle School combined math lessons, community service and tradition in a recent project benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities.
In 1994, the Bernard Campbell Middle School Math Department challenged the school community to collect 1 million pop tabs so students could visualize a million. BCMS math teachers said they realized students could envision 10, 100 or even 1,000, but what did one million look like?
In just over two years and with the help of the BCMS community, 1 million pop tabs were collected and displayed at BCMS. While it was truly a community effort, Carol Dunn (retired BCMS math teacher) was instrumental in facilitating the collection and storage of the pop tabs.
The pop tabs have been housed in the BCMS math hall since the original collection. Over the years, the idea of donating the pop tabs has been discussed on several occasions. This year, BCMS is celebrating its 25th anniversary and as part of the celebration, staff and students have focused on giving back to the community.
After discussion, school staff and students made the decision to make a donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities, an organization dedicated to helping kids and their families. On April 24, representatives from the BCMS student body and Shayla Winslow, current BCMS math teacher (and one of the original pop tab collectors), were greeted by Alan Lubert, community relations manager from Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Before loading 41 boxes onto the truck, Mrs. Winslow shared her memories of collecting the pop tabs. Winslow said, “We had two-liter bottles lining the walls of our classroom. For years following the collection, families would still bring me ziplock bags of pop tabs.”
While it was difficult for Mrs. Winslow to see the pop tabs go after so many years, a smile came across her face when Mr. Lubert shared the donation was one of largest they’ve received this year and it would easily support a family for a week at the Ronald McDonald house.
Luke Petersen with the BCMS pop tabs before the donation.
Mr. Alan Lubert, community relations manager from Ronald McDonald House Charities, presents a certificate of appreciation to representatives of BCMS staff and students.
Mrs. Winslow shares the pop tab collection story.