Students raise $3,700 in 'pennies for peace'


San Rafael High School Principal Judith Colton gave the founders of the penny campaign a big fat check for $3,766.13. The money was given to help remove landmines from soccer fields and playgrounds in Afghanistan, like the schools we visited in 2005.

Two of the school's broadcast journalists, Alexis Sneed and Carlos Mendoza, covered the event which they will report on the school's Web site soon.

It all started with a big assembly at the school last September 11. The students in the peer assistance leadership program turned it into a competition to raise more money than any other school. They had to beat a figure of $3,000, and they did.

"Knowing that we in the nation got the most money, we as a whole school felt proud of ourselves because we were willing to raise so much money," said Yendy Hernandez, a senior at San Rafael High School.

Brandon Whitaker, also a senior, said, "I thought it was cool. I was not shy about it at all. I just wanted to get into it and do what I had to do."

"We started with a goal of $1,000 to $2,000, and the fact that we doubled it was great," said Lucero Deleon, another San Rafael High School student.

The students and journalists followed their project all the way through to personally making the deposit at their local bank.

Their story will be posted on the school's Web site ( next week.

For more information on Roots of Peace, visit

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