Honoring those making a difference in their community.
The students of Mountain Top Mugs at Donegal Elementary in Jones Mills, PA, have chosen to honor the Emma Marie Keller Memorial Foundation with their profits. When Ryan and Chrissy Keller’s newborn daughter, Emma Marie, spent the first five months of her life in the NICU at Children’s Hospital, the Keller’s received an outpouring of kindness from their community. Ten years later, the Keller family pays it forward through their foundation, providing families that have extended, and unexpected hospital stays with Emma’s Essentials toiletry kits, footprint cards, and other assistance.
At a special school assembly, the 5th graders presented Mrs. Keller with a check for $1,000 – money that the class earned from their business which sells custom coffee mugs and water bottles. “Thank you for doing what you do for the community,” one student announced. “We are happy to be able to help you continue to make a difference.” Mountain Top Mugs also donated $600 of their profits to the American Cancer Society. “The thing we are most excited about is that we have the chance to give back,” another student stated during the assembly.
“I think that more classrooms should have student businesses and help people in need.”
~Lilyan Marker, 5th grade student
The founder of Mountain Top Mugs, 5th-grade teacher Michelle David, said she has transformed her teaching methods. “Through the EdCorps experience, I realized that students are capable of accomplishing anything when we give them room to grow,” she said. The students organized a Mother’s Day sale of mugs customized with student artwork and spent a day selling their goods at a community art and craft show. The students did all the preparations, packaged their products, and even loaded Mrs. David’s car. Several students showed up early to set up for the show, with parents reporting that their students were so excited, and they didn’t even have to wake them up.
Mr. and Mrs. Keller also visited the craft show where students were able to speak with them about why they chose to donate to the foundation. The Kellers were touched by the students’ eagerness to make a difference.
“I would like RWS to know that I am very thankful that they helped us start our business to become entrepreneurs.”
~5th Grader Peyton White
The students used their remaining profits on a class visit to Inventionland in Pittsburgh, America’s largest invention factory. “To see the confidence build in my students through the year was probably my favorite part of this experience,” Michelle shared. “They were so proud of their work. It was touching to see how much of an impact the business had in my class. Hands down, this learning experience with RWS is what it’s all about!”