BATTLEGROUND, Wash. - A million dollars. A million reasons. A million chances. We throw the word million around a lot. But what does a million really look like?

That s what one Battle Ground teacher wanted to find out. So Jeff Hereford at Maple Grove Middle School enlisted the help of his students.

I don t know what a million looks like. says Hereford That s part of the intrigue for me is to see what does it look like?

So together he and his students have been collecting, sorting and stringing aluminum pop tabs for three-and-a-half years.

And at this point Hereford tells us We are halfway there. So we will have to settle for a half million now.

Hereford figures it might take another three years or so to collect the other 500,000, but there is just one problem. He won t be there to lead the effort anymore.

Hereford is retiring.

After 36 years, it s time to retire, he says.

But he does promise to visit on a regular basis to help with the effort. And what happens once they do hit the magic 1 million mark?

The tabs will be turned in for recycling and the money given to the Ronald McDonald House. Hereford says each one adds up.

It s probably about 400 dollars based on today s aluminum price.

A valuable exercise for the kids will turn into a meaningful donation, and leave a lasting impression of a teacher likely to be remembered as one in a million.

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