Students at Cooper Elementary received third place and a cash prize of $200 in the contest sponsored by the Fort Dodge Chamber of Commerce to collect and recycle plastic sacks. Cooper staff chose to use the $200 as an opportunity to teach students about the concept of “Pay It Forward.” Principal Marlene Johnson read the book “Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed” to the students to expand on the concept. The students from Cooper’s Character Council (student council) then voted to give $100 to the American Red Cross and $100 to the Beacon of Hope Men’s Shelter as a way of “Paying it forward.” The Character Council students were given a tour of the Men’s Shelter and then reported back to their classrooms what they learned. Pictured are Nathan Rethwisch, Sydnee Crimmins and Molly Hartman. In the middle row are Jonathon Madden, Drake Miller and Addie Frakes. In back are school counselor Kim Bodholdt and Beacon of Hope Director Steve Roe. Character Council member Breya Schultz is not pictured.