Plaza Middle School raises thousands for Special Olympics

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jan 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-29 19:07:08-05

NewsChannel 3 and our community partner Southern Bank are shining our spotlight on a Virginia Beach middle school.

For the third year in a row, they are taking action in a huge way for the upcoming Polar Plunge which benefits the Special Olympics.

We visited the Plaza Middle School mascot and found some energetic students who in just a few days will be running into the waves at the Oceanfront!

For two consecutive years, Plaza has been the top fundraiser in the Polar Plunge's Cool School Challenge, and they hope to capture the title again this year!

About 100 students are part of a special program at Plaza Middle called the "Middle Years" and one of the things it focuses on is community service.

For 12-year-old Jaden Stanford, her community service has a personal connection. 

"Well, I have an uncle who is deaf and autistic and he used to participate in the Special Olympics, so I thought it would be special. My family and I just decided to go for it," says Stanford. 

For all the kids, the community service meant raising money. They did anything from soliciting donations online, to doughnut sales to doing chores.

Some of the students raised some big bucks.

We had NewsChannel 3 People Taking Action pins for the school's top fundraisers. Each of them raised over $1,000. 

The overall school total for Plaza Middle was $17,500. For their extraordinary efforts, we presented a People Taking Action award to the school and our community partner Southern Bank donated a $100 Visa gift card to Plaza Middle School the Middle Years Program.