Lenihan students raise $1,500 for Y swim program

When students at Lenihan Intermediate School put their minds to something, big results tend to follow. The student leadership group known as Ricochet led a penny war at the school which ended up raising $1,500 for the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA teach kids to swim program.

Liz Jurgensen, associate principal at Lenihan, said the original goal by the leadership group was to raise $1,000.

“The kids were able to set their goal, reach it and exceed it,” Jurgensen said. “I think it’s amazing.”

The swim program began last year after the summer drownings in the Iowa River. It helps provide young students lessons in swimming who may not have the means otherwise.

“It’s actually pretty fun to help others out,” said Azusena Mora, a sixth grader and a member of the leadership group.

Madison Finch, student president of the group, said they feel like they are making a difference in the community. The students presented a check to Bianca Greazel and Carol Hibbs of the YMCA-YWCA Thursday.

“We think this is tremendous because it’s a student-led project,” Greazel said.

Ricochet started at Lenihan last year to build leadership skills among students and role models for other students. The group currently consists of 50 fifth and sixth graders at Lenihan.

“It’s been really fabulous,” Jurgensen said. “The other kids in the school have really looked up to these leaders.”

Jurgensen said the next project of Ricochet is a canned food drive, which will be held next week at the school and benefit the Emergency Food Box.