Eighth-graders hope to raise $15,000 for Holocaust Museum

Lawton_A group of local junior high school students are participating in a charity project which they hope will more than just money -- they hope it will raise awareness.A class of eighth graders is simply collecting change. They want to encourage people to remember of one of the most horrific events of genocide in world history -- the Holocaust.

This group of eighth graders is raising money in an attempt to teach the city of Lawton about the impact of the Holocaust.

They're reading "The Diary of Anne Frank" in their English class, and it has made that part of history alive for them.

Though none of them were alive to experience it, they don't want those who were to forget it.

The Holocaust, a time when an estimated six million people died -- including 1.5 million children...

So Emily Anderson's English class has created the 1.5 Project.

They are collecting nickels in memory of those children who died in the Holocaust.

Each nickel will represent five children who died. So, Ms. Anderson's class is collecting nickels any way they can, even going door to door.

"I felt that it was important to represent the children in the Holocaust that died and suffered for us," said student Jamie McLain.

Their goal of 300,000 nickels adds up to $15,000.

But these 13-year-olds aren't keeping the money for themselves. The nickels they collect will be donated to the education center at the Holocaust Museum in Houston, TX.

The museum teaches the dangers of hatred and prejudice in society, and that's what these students are trying to promote in Lawton.

"People died just for what they believed in," said student Shelby Stancil. "And I think that people nowadays, I don't think people stand up for what they believe in and I think this is a great way to get the word out."

Ms. Anderson's class has been collecting nickels for three weeks -- and they have already raised enough money to represent more than 39,000 children in the Holocaust.

But then that total was doubled, when a group of students from Crosby Park Elementary school arrived with their collection -- raising the donations to represent  15,680 nickles.

They now have almost a thousand dollars, and they will continue this project until they reach their goal.

"Everybody should donate," said student Tami Doile. "We should all understand the mistakes people make so that more people don't die and so that we can all get along and make the world a better place."

Ms. Anderson says she hopes people will remember the Holocaust every time they spend a nickel.

And Ms. Anderson says this project helps people remember the importance of understanding, perserverance, empathy and tolerance.

She says her students are the future of the country, and this understanding begins with them.

If you would like to donate nickels to Emily Anderson's class for the 1.5 Project, you can mail or deliver your donations to:

The 1.5 Project
Eisenhower Junior High School
5702 W. Gore Boulevard
Lawton, OK 73505