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La Puente Kids Get Surprise Visit from Chicken After Raising Money for Heart Disease

After students raised $2,000 for heart disease, the school principal dressed up as a chicken as a fun surprise for the kids.

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Nelson Elementary School in La Puente welcomed a special visitor, Dr. Chick Chick Chicken, after students raised $2,000 for heart disease.

Students, parents, and teachers at Nelson Elementary School in La Puente have a lot of school pride. They even have t-shirts made to reflect the school’s leading social media hashtag “best school in the universe.”

“We have a positive atmosphere with kids and staff,” explained Mrs. Claudia Diaz, who teaches 6th grade. “Everyone feels loved and accepted. It’s really a great community.”

They have a lot of reasons to be proud of their school. For one, Nelson Elementary was one of the 25 schools across the state to receive the 2022 Civic Learning Award from the California Department of Education for having successfully conducted school projects that are civic-minded and beneficial to the community.

Most recently, the school’s student council led the effort to participate in the Kids Heart Challenge and help raise funds for other children with heart disease. The school principal, Dr. Marci Chavez, decided to encourage more students to participate and made a promise that students typically would not expect from their principal.

“They really found this passion behind raising money, so I decided to incentivize them a little bit by dressing up as a chicken,” Dr. Chavez said. “Our kids are really into surprises like surprise boxes, mystery surprises, so I said I’d dress up as chicken and hand out surprise eggs.”

The school easily met the goal of raising $2,000 for the challenge. While the entire school got to shake hands and take pictures with Dr. Chick Chick Chicken, students who raised $50 or more received a special egg filled with a surprise gift. And the star fundraiser turned out to be a kindergartner named Dominic Castro.

“I asked everyone to donate,” said the 5-year-old, who received a golden egg for raising nearly $500.

Other students said they got a kick out of seeing their principal, dressed up in the full, yellow chicken costume.

“I think it was really funny that she was going around the whole school and giving our eggs,” Vanilla Maldonado, a 6th grader, described. “I really like that we help others by doing those fundraisers and for the community.”

Another 6th grader, who helped designed a school t-shirt that reads “best school in the universe,” echoed the sentiment.

"To be able to serve our school and community and to know that you’re helping something that’s big – I think that’s the best part,” Frida Garcia said.

There’s no word yet whether Dr. Chavez and the participating students did a group chicken dance. But there’s no doubt the students will get ready for the next community project.

“I’m so proud of our entire school community. They all put heart and hard work in everything they do.” Dr. Chavez said.

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