By Indykids Staff

Students at schools in New York City are getting involved in Pennies of Promise, a fund-raising campaign to build a new school in Appalachia. Directly behind Marsh Fork Elementary School in Sundial, West Virginia, is a very toxic coal processing facility.

Many students are sick because the air is filled with pollutants from the coal plant. They suffer from asthma, headaches and dizziness. Five school employees and one former student have died from cancer in the past 10 years. The kids and the community want to move to a new healthy school. For the Marsh Fork community, it’s a matter of life and death.

While the government is responsible for providing safe schools where kids can learn, it has not done its job for kids at Marsh Fork. The governor has not delivered on campaign promises to build a new school and the coal company refuses to take responsibility. So the kids and their families are doing the work themselves. They need about six million dollars. That’s a lot of pennies!

On May 30, Pennies of Promise accepted its first donations from New York City school children. The pennies were delivered in wheelbarrows to the West Virginia state capitol in Charleston. Participating schools include the Bank Street School for Children, where the Pennies campaign has extended a year-long curriculum on energy and the environment, and the Harlem Link Charter School, which has a primary focus on active citizenship.

For information on how you or your school can be involved, contact: