GRAND ISLAND, NY- This week's "Great Kid" saved all her money to give it to a Grand Island school to help other students enjoy one of her favorite pastimes.
Emma Richards, 10, knows every inch of the playground at her old school, Charlotte Sidway Elementary on Grand Island. Now a 5th grade student at Huth Road Elementary School, she has fond memories of playing on the Sidway playground in kindergarten and first grade.
"I like the playground because it brought me lots of memories because I always made new friends there," said Richards.
It's an important part of childhood for not just Emma, but for thousands of other kids. But at nearly 20-years-old old, school leaders say it's time for a change.
"Pieces are breaking. They're very expensive to replace," said Sidway principal Denise Dunbar. "In order to be safe and compliant with children with disabilities we need to have a major update."
Dunbar says a new playground will cost about $100,000. Emma is saving up her allowance to help reach that goal.
"I did the dishes, I vacuumed, I cleaned my room, I did the beds," she said.
She admits she saved a little to spend on "practical things" but she wanted to give away all the rest. It totaled $64.84- nearly the entire life savings for the 10-year-old.
Emma delivered it to the principal in a plastic ziplock bag with a handwritten note saying,
"I have chosen to give all of my donation money to you for Sidway playground because I still like playing there and I am sure all the kids will like the new playground, too."
Emma's parents, Sheila and Bob Richards, say they are very proud of their daughter.
"Her teachers were deeply touched. I was deeply touched. It nearly brought me to tears because it's a lot for a fifth grader to give up everything that she has saved," said Mrs. Dunbar.
And thanks to Emma's small but generous contribution, this Great Kid will help bring joy to the next generation of Grand Island students.
If you know of a "Great Kid" who should be featured on Daybreak, email details to Melissa.Holmes@wgrz.com or call 716-849-2216.