A quarter here, a quarter there, all for the Dakin Society

  • Four Corners fourth-graders Abigail Hood, 10, Evelyn Flynn, 9, Kristian Yagovane, 10 and principal Jake Toomey speak with the Dakin Humane Society. Recorder Staff/Joshua Solomon—

Recorder Staff
Saturday, February 03, 2018

GREENFIELD — Want to come to school as your favorite fictional character? Bring a quarter. Want to come to school in your pajamas? Bring a quarter? Want to raise nearly $500 for Dakin Humane Society? Bring a lot of quarters.

When third- and fourth-graders on the student council at the Discovery School at Four Corners were deciding how to raise money for their charity of choice, they came up with a simple plan: Hold spirit days, with themes that allow you to come into school looking like Scooby Doo, and collect a quarter from each student or faculty who wanted to participate.

Students came in with quarters for themselves and some for their classmates, putting them in a bin, to collect their funds for the regional animal shelter. “We were quickly finding that these bins were filling up faster than we thought they would,” Principal Jake Toomey explained.

Over the course of the 2016-17 school year, Four Corners students raised money for the animal shelter, quarter by quarter, and Friday, three students presented a check of $470 to Dakin.

“It’s a powerful message that we can be a part of the community and assist other organizations in our community,” Toomey said.

Fourth-graders Abigail Hood, 10, Evelyn Flynn, 9 and Kristian Yagovane, 10, offered up the donation to Dakin volunteer Dot Barnard of Hatfield, after some months of coordination to get everyone together at the elementary school.

“We raised money because we want animals to have a home,” Evelyn said. “I know that if my mom shows me a picture of a puppy, I really want to adopt it. I want other people to be able to adopt them. Even if it’s a tamed fox, it deserves a home as much as we do.”

Settling on what cause to raise money for did not come simply though. Toomey said at first the student council thought about some efforts in-house to raise money for, but ultimately decided to look toward the greater community.

The money will go to the society, and Barnard said it could go to programs like the buddy fund that provides extraordinary care of animals in need or for a nursery for kittens in need of intensive care.

“It’s nice to have them so absorbed in the whole thing,” Barnard said.

Part of the relationship has been sewed over the years when Dakin has come into the school to bring animals to the children.

“I love animals and animals are very cute and pretty funny and they’re there to help you,” Kristian said. “I feel like animals don’t deserve to not have a home and not to be loved.”

Abigail and her classmates were surprised at how far a quarter could go toward a cause. Evelyn said when she thought about how four quarters equal a dollar, “I thought maybe we would get $50, but we got $470. That is way more.”

“It makes me feel really proud to raise the money and I’m honored to be in the newspaper for doing it,” Evelyn said.

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:


413-772-0261, ext. 264