Ketchikan Charter School students are counting every last penny as they compete for a coveted prize — throwing a pie in the face of the school principal.
While it was the Academic Parent Committee that came up with an idea to hold a "penny war," KCS Principal Kayla Livingston was the one to name the prize.
"The kids are loving it," Livingston told the Daily News on Wednesday. "I think they want to pie me more than they even want to raise money."
The penny war is a fundraising effort that started on April 19 and will end on Friday.
"We've been fundraising for a couple of years to get some new playground equipment, so it's going toward that same process," Livingston said.
Each grade in the school has a jar that sits in the school foyer.
The elementary school grades are competing against each other in the penny war, while the middle school grades (sixth, seventh and eighth-graders) are competing against themselves, Livingston noted.
Every time a student puts a penny or a bill in the jar, it gives their grade a certain number of points in the penny war, Livingston explained.
Pennies are worth one point in favor of the grade, according to a KCS flyer explaining the rules of the penny war. Dollar bills are worth 100 points, $5 bills are worth 500 points and a $10 bill is worth 1,000 points
However, if a student puts nickels, dimes or quarters in another grade's jar, it subtracts a predetermined number of points from that grade's total.
Nickels subtract five points from a grade's total, while dimes take away 10 points and quarters remove 25 points.
"The silver coins they can put in anybody's grade, to count against them," Livingston explained. "So pennies and dollars count toward their cause, but nickels, dimes and quarters against (it)."
Livingston said that the students are taking the penny war very seriously.
"It is amazing how competitive kids can be," Livingston joked. "They are watching this like hawks."
Competition is especially high when it comes to sneaking silver coins into other grades' jars.
"Oh my goodness, they're coming in with a handful (of silver coins)," Livingston said. "In fact, fifth grade was very upset because they found out another grade brought, like, a huge baggie of coins."
She said that the fifth-graders originally were skeptical, and thought Livingston had added the offending coins to their grade's jar.
"And I said, 'No, I put pennies in everybody's (jar), but I did not put silver in," Livingston said, laughing.
Livingston said she's never been "pied" before, but she'll experience it twice when the penny war ends — once by the winning elementary school grade, and once by the winning middle school (sixth, seventh or eighth grade).
The winning grades also will receive a "free movie day" at school.