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Pay It Forward: Penny war at Fox Hollow Elementary

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A local student council is leading its school and the rest of the community by example. They found a way to help other less-fortunate kids, while having a little fun at the same time. KIDK Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz wanted to find out what they are doing and to Pay It Forward.

Welcome to Fox Hollow Elementary School in Idaho Falls. The student council consists of almost 30 students from kindergarten through sixth grades. They started a three-week project about two weeks ago.

"And we try to do something for the community every year. So I let the kids kind of come up with it," said Trisalaya Wyrick, the council advisor.

It's a penny war.

"Grades get to put their pennies and their silvers into different jars, depending on who they want to win that day," said Wyrick.

Pennies are positive points. Silver coins are negative points. So a grade can really sabotage another grade's points, and all the while the total money pot continues to grow.

"The grade level with the most points will win extra P.E. time with our gym teacher," said Wyrick.

Jordan Gates is a sixth grader. She sits on the student council. She and some of her classmates were counting coins at lunch.

"We kind of just look for what we can do, and if we can do anything at all, we try to help out," said Gates.

The students voted on what organization they would like to donate to.

"And they decided to donate to St. Jude's," said Wyrick.

Time to Pay It Forward.

"Mrs. Wyrick, how are you?" said a man walking into the library and interrupting.

"Hi," said Wyrick.

"Good, I'm Kory with Mountain American Credit Union," he said.

"Who is? Hi," questioned Wyrick, looking confused.

"We've heard about what you and your student council has been doing," said Carling.

"Didn't I talk to you like last week?" asked Wyrick.

"And your penny wars," said Carling, smiling.

"Yeah," said Wyrick.

"And we're here today to Pay It Forward for all that you guys are doing. So I have brought with me today, $500 in cash," said Carling.

"Are you serious?" said Wyrick.

"That I know you guys can use to donate to St. Jude's, to further your cause, but on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, we would like to Pay It Forward to you guys and all your hard work," said Carling addressing the few students counting coins.

"Guys, isn't that cool?!" said Wyrick to the students.

"The student council is pretty awesome," said Carling.

"Wow! Thank you," said Wyrick.

"So awesome," said Carling.

"Thank you so much!" said Wyrick.

"You betcha," said Carling.

"Oh my gosh. Can I give you a hug?" asked Wyrick, hugging Carling.

"You betcha," said Carling.

"Thank you. That is so cool," said Wyrick.

"Good job. You guys are doing awesome. Good job," said Carling to the students.

"Thank you!" they all said in unison.

"Wow!" said Wyrick. "That is so... thank you!"

"You're welcome," said Carling.

"Wow. That is so cool. Did anyone know that was happening?" Wyrick asked the students.

"No!" they said.

"Oh wow!" said Wyrick.

The penny war runs through Fri., May 10.

"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "Pay It Forward" on the right side of our website and fill out the form, or send an email to KIDK Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at

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Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for Eyewitness News 3, Local News 8 and Fox 5.


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