Carroll County Public Schools students are giving back this month with a bit of a twist.
Sixth-graders at West Middle School took time on Friday, May 11 to take part in the Supernova Super Freeze, a fundraiser that benefits the DC/MD/VA Chapter of the ALS Association, according to a news release from the school system.
Students have been collecting donations for the chance to dunk their teachers in a dunk tank filled with ice water, according to the release. The more money each student raised, the more chances they had to "freeze" their teachers.
Ken Mihalyov, a Supernova science teacher and team leader at the school, said this is the first time they've held this event. The fundraiser hits home, he said, because his mom was recently diagnosed with ALS.
"It's kind of personal [for me]," he said.
This fundraiser is a nod to the ice bucket challenge, he said. As of Friday morning, the students had raised over $6,000. They've been fundraising for a month, he said.
"The last week they've been pushing and bringin in more donations," he said.
One student, 11-year-old Mae Andalora, has raised more than $800 on her own.
The sixth-grader said she walked around her neighborhood and sent emails to help raise money.
Mihalyov said Mae also raised funds outside the school musical.
"When I reached my goal I kept going for more," Mae said, later adding, "I wanted to help as much as I could."
In addition to the opportunity to dunk their teachers in ice water, there were other incentives that included a chance to dunk assistant principal Jeff Cook, and also required the teachers to get wacky hairstyles, according to the release.
Last week, students at Elmer Wolfe Elementary School held a "Sticking it to Cancer" event on May 3.
During the day, students got to tape up one faculty member to the wall for every $200 raised. After raising more than $1,200, Barbara Deitch, the school counselor at Elmer Wolfe, said students got to tape six teachers to the wall.
The lucky few included Principal Tracy Belski, physical education teachers John Tumulty and Derrik Hess, fifth-grade teacher Sarah Watcher, fourth-grade teacher Katie Johannes and first-grade teacher Carlie Surkovich, Deitch said.
Every year, she said, the school works to do some sort of fundraiser. This year, they'll be splitting the money between Relay for Life — a team of faculty is participating this year — and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The student council voted to raise the money by duct taping their teachers and principal to the wall, Deitch said. They were able to raise the more than $1,200 this year with the help of some anonymous donors who matched some of the pledges, she said. This year's fundraising, which occurred over about two weeks, is the second- or third-most they've raised, she added.
The school's community may not be the wealthiest in Carroll, Deitch said, but they always do their best to raise funds.
"Our community certainly always comes through," she added.
Deitch said she wants to teach the students that no matter their circumstances, they should give back, even if it's just in a small way.
"I think it's really important to show our kids that we need to help others," she said.