Penny project provides surprising lesson

DUNSTABLE, Mass., Sept. 22 (UPI) — Students at a Massachusetts middle school have learned first-hand about man’s capacity for both good and evil, when their collected pennies were stolen.

The lessons came after the children at Groton-Dunstable Middle School launched a penny project to try to grasp the magnitude of the number of children who were killed during the Holocaust, USA Today reported.

For months the eighth grade students collected and counted pennies toward meeting their goal of 1.5 million coins, one for each child who perished.

Last week the project appeared to be in jeopardy after teacher Nikki Rockwell noticed some of the jugs of pennies were missing and police charged a substitute janitor with theft, the newspaper said.

When word of the robbery got out, money came pouring in.

One elderly gentleman who had survived a concentration camp gave the class $5,000 and a man on a motorcycle handed over a plastic piggybank filled with pennies.

“They thought it would take four years before they would reach 1.5 million pennies,” Rockwell told USA Today. “And they’ve reached it in four days.”