In an effort to discover what does a million look like, an elementary school teacher has been collecting bread tabs
Kathy Johnstone is getting very close to retiring with a million – a million bread tabs, that is. She only has 40,000 to go. She teaches grades six through eight at Columbia Crest A-STEM Academy in Ashford, and started the project of collecting plastic bread tabs in 2004. Her students have been counting and storing for over 11 years.
In May of 2015, she had 559,000. After local media coverage, the donations started pouring in. At present, she and her classes have collected 963,000, and the donations keep pouring in every day. She would like to reach a million before she retires in June.
“I appreciate all the people who contributed. I’m impressed that people are willing to spend money on postage and that they’re willing to send me the tabs,” Johnstone said. “We’re getting close but we still haven’t caught up with the counting.”
Johnstone and her students count the tabs, and then separate them into groups of 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000 and 100,000. Tabs are separated into containers marked for each milestone. The containers are used to teach about a graphic representation of numbers.