Academic excellence is what teachers and students strive to achieve everyday across San Diego County. There's one North County school where students are learning the value of an education through a lesson in giving.

Students at Live Oak Elementary are collecting pennies wherever they can find them.

"Just find it on the ground and put it in the jar," said Dylan.

Penny by penny, they're helping kids in Afghanistan and Pakistan pursue their education through the Pennies for Peace program.

"It started when my grandmother read this book called "Three Cups of Tea," and it is about Greg Mortensen and he is a man that is building schools in Central Asia for kids that don't have schools and have to write in the mud," continued Dylan.

Although a penny is virtually worthless in our country, elsewhere, a penny buys a pencil and opens the door to literacy.

"Not everybody has what I have and this makes me feel like I can do something about it and just one penny is all it takes," Tatiana said.

And when students add up all these pennies...

"We have done about 520 pounds which is a lot," noted Tatiana.

They're effecting change on a global scale...

"Here we take a penny for granted, we might not even pick it up if we see it, but there it totally makes a difference. It can be the difference between a school day," said Debuca Porter.

Pennies are also making huge differences in Live Oak's School day. Students are now creating literary works of their own.

"They collected 10 facts, some of them from the book and some of them from the Internet and the library, and they brought those facts together and put it in a script form," said Jil Young.

They're also learning that education is empowering.

"Now that they see there are countries where kids are eager to go to school eager to learn and sometimes can't they now realize how valuable an education," explained Porter.

This cool school just makes great sense!

Congratulations to Live Oak Elementary - 8's Cool School of the Week.