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story.lead_photo.caption Submitted photoCalifornia Elementary School students were able to raise more than $2,000, put toward gift cards that were given to members of the community before Christmas, through the school’s annual Circle of Sharing.

California Elementary School recently wrapped up another successful iteration of its annual Circle of Sharing, raising more than $2,000.

For this year's program, California Elementary School's fifth-grade team put on a penny war. In previous years, fifth graders, their families and local businesses gathered gift baskets and community members would buy chances to win them. However, with the school distrcit's recent period of distance learning, there wasn't enough time to prepare, CES principal Gary Baker said.

For the penny war, CES teachers, assistant principal Aaron Shewmake and Baker took part. Students brought in pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars to compete. The staff member who had accumulated the most points by the end of the contest period had to wear a Santa costume for an entire day. After the dust had settled and the student body had finished its donation spree, fifth grade teacher Stephanie Zimmerman was bestowed the honor of dressing up as Santa.

With the money raised, Baker said he and Shewmake were able to purchase forty $50 gift cards and get them out to the community before Christmas.

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