Bonus for Students and Needy Children

Bonus for Students and Needy Children
By: Holly Brantley

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. --One Southeast Missouri State University professor turns her students into Santa's helpers.  Their generosity makes the holidays a little brighter for needy children and the students themselves.

A new stuffed animal or game makes a great gift for a child. But, for college students good grades are just as special. Jennifer Icaza-Gast knows that. So for her students she's turned the situation into a win-win situation for needy children and her students.
"What I'm doing is giving my students a maximum of five bonus points for every toy they bring in, up to five toys. For college kids, bonus points are huge," said Icaza-Gast.
She calls the project Student Santas. So far, they've gone above and beyond.
"Actually they are doing really good. Many of them brought in more than five toys. We've already collected more than six-hundred," Icaza-Gast said.
"It's very important for the points and the kids," said Matt Shead. "I've got one low grade and it's really going to help."
Students say none of their other classes have offered such an incentive. But, they admit it's not all about the points.
"The kids are more important than the points," said Amber Walker.
"You know we're a communications class," said Casey Hinkebein. "We're communicating to the kids that we care about them."
One load of toys has already gone to Nicaragua. But, there are hundreds more toys to be delivered to needy kids in the Heartland.