https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=lAjKt8NvS5E Sunnyside Elementary\u2019s gymnasium erupted with cheers from students as Principal Amy Yost was dropped into a dunk tank as a part of a fundraiser designed to help build a new playground, while also promoting kindness among the school\u2019s community. The second year of the dual-fundraisers, Look for the Good and Raise Craze, at Sunnyside Elementary have ended and according to the school\u2019s PTO, parents were all very impressed by the results. \u201cParents and students raised over $9,000 this time around,\u201d said PTO President Jessica Scerbo. With an additional $2,500 being donated from natural gas provider for Shelton, Eversource, the school has put up a chunk of the funds needed to build the approximately $60,000 playground. Despite currently being an estimated $45,000 short of their goal, Scerbo said after a conversation with Mayor Mark Lauretti, she learned that the city would be contributing an undisclosed amount toward the cause. \u201cWe\u2019re also looking into grants to see if they can subsidize some of the money,\u201d said Yost who explained that the additional funds from the city could lead to the playground being built by spring 2018. \u201cIt\u2019s really in the best interest of not only our students, but also the community.\u201d Principal Yost said initially, only 10 kids were supposed to be dunking her, but after hearing the success of the fundraisers for the second year in a row, she doubled that amount. The students who were listed as the top 10 fundraisers and top 10 acts of kindness got to dunk Yost. \u201cI was floored by the amount of acts of kindness the students completed and the amount of donations they collected so we decided that we should double the amount of kids who would be able to dunk me,\u201d said Yost. After being taped to a wall last year, dunked 20 times this year, Yost said next year\u2019s incentive for the kids will be taken up a notch. https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=QwcT-uhtIxI \u201cI\u2019m always one for just having fun. Elementary schools are heavily focused on academics but we need to keep it fun at the same time because they\u2019re still children,\u201d said Yost. \u201cStay tuned for next year, we\u2019ve already got some ideas going.\u201d Interactive approach to fundraising After a successful pilot year of these two fundraisers, the school\u2019s PTO and Principal Yost agreed that this interactive approach has been beneficial to the school and its students. \u201cRaise Craze and Look For the Good tie in with one another and both focus on the students showing gratitude and carrying out acts of kindness,\u201d Yost explained. Raise Craze is an online-based program in which students create profiles and then reach out to their families and friends to collect donations via those profiles. The catch is the donors aren\u2019t receiving any physical item in return. Instead, for every donation students collect, they must pay the donor back with an act of kindness. The action doesn\u2019t have to be directed at or include the donor, but focuses more on the student making a positive impact on someone else\u2019s life or community. Student's applause overpowered the voices of teachers, as the school\u2019s staff showed a video in the gymnasium of the acts of kindness that each student completed as a part of the fundraiser. Some wrote and delivered letters of appreciation to the city\u2019s police station, senior center, and fire departments. Others participated in river cleanup, and collected donations for the Spooner House. Yost said this fundraiser has taught kids to find compassion for others and to highlight the good deeds of others versus always wanting to be acknowledged for what they\u2019ve done personally. \u201cThe kids love talking about it, whether it\u2019s what they\u2019ve done or just complimenting their peers,\u201d said Yost. \u201cWe\u2019re seeing a lot of students building connections.\u201d \u201cWe\u2019re a small elementary school but the students have had a huge impact on us parents,\u201d said Scerbo. The other half of the school\u2019s fundraising efforts was its student participation in the Look For Good campaign. The Look For Good requires students to express the things or people they\u2019re thankful for. Yost explained that in an effort to build on their first year doing the fundraiser, they converted what was a wall-full of things their students are grateful for, into a colorful window-full of things they\u2019re grateful for in the school\u2019s media center. The Sunnyside principal said the 2,200 or so sticky notes give the window a stained glass feel, that brings warmth into the library. \u201cIt coincides with the purpose of both fundraisers. We want to bring warmth into our hearts and make the kids feel good,\u201d said Yost. \u201cSocially, I think they\u2019re grasping the bigger picture on the world and how they can make positive changes.\u201d The students also completed a \u201cgratitude letter\u201d at the end of the two week duration of the fundraiser and read it to one person they\u2019re grateful for. The display inside the school\u2019s media center also features more than 200 decorated rocks, which Yost said will be moved outside of the school in the spring. \u201cThese students are all leaving their marks here at Sunnyside,\u201d said Yost while explaining that she believes that when students are happy and feeling grateful they can achieve more.