Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Class Raises Money For Children With Cancer

Is it possible for a whole class to be a hero in the community? At the Flocktown Road School in Washington Township, it is, as every student in the fifth grade class contributed to a fundraiser called Math-A-Thon to raise over $3000 dollars for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

“One young lady brought it [the idea for the fundraiser] up to us,” says Julie Martire, a teacher at the school, “She had a family member who had gone to another hospital.”

That young lady in question is fifth grader, Rebecca Montross, who suggested the idea for the fundraiser after the school set up a pilot program this year called, Fifth Grade Friends, which is a student council committee organized around helping the community.

“We had this big idea [for the Fifth Grade Friends] of, what does it take for people to live and work in a community together?” says Martire.

That big idea blossomed when Montross went to another one of her teachers, Ms. Tasnady, and told her that she had done a Math-A-Thon in her former school.
A Math-A-Thon is a fundraiser where children do math problems to raise money for children with cancer at St Jude Children’s Hospital.

“[When she came to me with it], I told her, I’m so busy, can you please take care of it,” Ms. Tasnady jokes.

And Montross did take care of it, organizing a way to get her peers involved. Her teachers aided by getting local businesses to contribute, too.

“We really hit the pavement,” Ms. Tasnady says at an assembly where all the fifth graders were present, “and all the businesses know what you did in the fifth grade, and we raised close to $500 in donations from the community.”

That $500 is in addition to the $3000 the students raised on their own.
Martire wants to make it even bigger next semester though by starting at the beginning of the year and getting every grade involved.

“We’re looking to make this an annual event,” Martire says, “and by next year, we want to make it school wide, and then, we’ll try to make it district wide, as this district is so huge.”

It doesn’t stop there, either, as Martire has big plans for what the students can do for the community.

“We were just approved for the Community Day Fall Festival,” Martire says, “We’re going to use the funds [we make] from that to kick off [the St. Jude fundraiser] for next year.”

Martire, as well as all the teachers in the school, has high hopes for the children and believes that they are the arbiters of education for children in the area.

“They are our children,” Martire says, “and we have to curve their learning [to show them] what they can become.”


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