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Spirit of Acadiana: Wagon Wednesday at Maltrait Memorial

Posted: 6:18 AM, Jan 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-23 07:21:26-05

It’s raining coins in the Vermilion Parish town of Kaplan.

At Maltrait Memorial Catholic School, more than a bit of loose change has been, on a small scale, thrown toward wagons.

But on the larger scale, these flung tools of our monetary system are aimed at school improvements.

Welcome to ‘Wagon Wednesday.’

“So on Wednesday, they ask their parents, grandparents, and anybody they can for spare coins,” says Maltrait Memorial Catholic School Principal Renee Meaux. “And they contribute to our campaign.”

Principal Meaux is the brainchild behind ‘Wagon Wednesday.’ Just a few years ago she decided to energize the school’s yearly appeal for donations.  Meaux says it was all about getting everyone actively involved.

“What we did is once a week we decided to have a Wagon Toss,” says Meaux. “The children bring their coins and toss them into their classroom wagons for competition.”

Meaux says that from that point on the annual fund has continued to grow and grow each year.

Wagon Wednesday has funded a $50,000 playground followed by various safety and security needs. Last year, the money toss helped supply the school with a new office-to-classrooms sound system.

And this year?  This year these talented coin tossers are working toward a bit of protection from the elements.

“Our next goal is to get a covered walkway so our children can come in and exit each day safely,” says Meaux.

The students have bought into Wagon Wednesday and are doing everything they can to make this weekly event a big success.

Wagon Wednesday at Maltrait Memorial is a winner.

Working when the traditional online or direct mail appeals have become a bit stagnant.

“I think the children need to be involved and you need to refresh ideas,” says Meaux. “And get the children excited about what’s going to come, so they know the goals.”

So years after teachers and administrators fussed at us for pitching pennies in high school, coin tossing has gone legit. And not only is it accepted, but it’s also working wonders for one of Acadiana’s most special schools.

“Weekly we do a couple hundred dollars, and if we have a big event sometimes in the thousands (grandparents day) Catholic Schools Week.”