Submitted by Medfield Afterschool Program at the Pfaff Center
Last week, students who attend MAP at the Pfaff got more than they bargained for from their annual pet food drive as did the Medfield Animal Shelter.
The Medfield Afterschool Program’s 4th, 5th and 6th graders had a goal of 200 cans of dog and cat food when they kicked off the drive on September 23.
“I offered to buy everyone pizza if they met their goal,” said MAP at the Pfaff Program Director Michael Ikoma.
“The students met that goal with a week left in the drive, and I wanted to keep the momentum going. So I offered to let the MAPsters vote on a new hairstyle for me if they collected 300 cans,” Ikoma said. “I was pretty confident that my hair was not at any risk.”
But it was. And now, it is gone.
“On the last two days of the drive, there was a surge in contributions. The donation boxes were overflowing with cans. At that point, I knew I was cooked,” Ikoma said.
There were more than 350 cans when Medfield Animal Control Officer Jenny Cronin came to collect the food on October 23.
Watching Michael get fleeced was apparently only part of the students’ motivation.
When Ikoma asked one of the top contributors, a fifth-grader named Karl, what motivated him, he said, “I have three pets from the Medfield Animal Shelter and I love animals.”
“Michael finds innovative was to keep his kids engaged, positive and learning,” said David Traub, president of the non-profit’s all-parent board of directors this year. “He is an example of how much MAP’s teachers put of themselves into their work and their students.”
The vote to have Ikoma shave his head was not unanimous.
“Some of the students watched with huge smiles on their faces, others in slight horror as Joe Knaus, another MAP teacher, shaved my head in front of them,” he said. “It was well worth it, but it is a bit chillier when I go outside these days.”
MAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit serving about 300 Medfield children with afterschool enrichment, learning and care this year with locations on the campuses of the Memorial and Wheelock schools and at the Pfaff center adjacent to the Dale Street School. For more information, visit www.medfieldafterschoolprogram.com or call director Gaye Shannon at 508.359.0003.