Students as Changemakers: A Letter From Fifth Grade


I want to thank you for another opportunity to enrich our classrooms with your online news source. Last year the robotic hand offered a unique experience! This year, it was a celebration of “GAGA!”

Gaga ball

Soon after we read this article, the fifth-graders at Western Salisbury Elementary School got started with their plan, a plan to get a Gaga Pit! The students began by writing letters to decision- makers within the school district and the community. While one group of students crafted their invitations, the others planned and developed keynote presentations to be shown at the event.

On Jan. 26, our fifth-grade class unveiled their plan to purchase and build a Gaga Pit. Approval was almost immediate from the individuals attending the event. Each attendee received an edible Gaga Pit!


Fundraising was our next challenge. Several students applied for a grant from the Salisbury Education Foundation, an organization that helps fund school projects. We were granted half of the money necessary to build the pit. Our Building and Grounds team designed and built the game. The students were charged with raising the other funds to cover the cost of the building materials.



We designated a week to collect donations to cover the rest of the money for the pit. The students made commercials to be shown after the morning announcements. Two videos were selected from each classroom and played during the collection week. We successfully raised the extra funds.

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This is just another example of NEWSELA and the wonderful extension opportunities it brings to students!

– Chris Adams and Kathy DeBona and the fifth-graders at Western Salisbury Elementary in Allentown, Pennsylvania