Westborough's Mill Pond students raise money to help Japan
By Bonnie Adams
Westborough – When the recent earthquake and tsunami hit Japan earlier this year, thousands of organizations around the globe galvanized their resources to bring aid to the country. Among those eager to help were the students at Westborough's Mill Pond School, who in just a few weeks, raised over $1,700 in an effort they named “Joy for Japan.”
Helping others in need is not a new concept to these students; rather, it is a philosophy that colors many aspects of their lives and educational experiences at the school. The students reach out a helping hand to many organizations across not only their town, but also the region. But for these children, who live in an age of instant media, the effects of the earthquake and tsunami had a significant impact on them.
said of the images of the devastation,
“It was so sad. But although it made us sad, it also inspired us to help,” said student Luan Rocha,
“Every morning we have a meeting where we talk about how we can help someone. We really wanted to help [the people of Japan] so we brainstormed some ideas.”
A group of kids then ran some of their ideas by Principal Reene Hatherley, who enthusiastically gave them her support.
One of the ideas was to have a “movie afternoon” at the school, where kids would be asked to consider making a voluntary $5 donation.
To promote the event, the children gathered a number of pictures and images from online sources that one student, Connor Schoen, then turned into a PowerPoint slide show. With the help of technology teacher Jill Mayne, the slide show was then run on the school's internal cable access station.
“Everyone was inspired by that video – Connor did a great job on it,” student Gabe Angelli said. “The Student Council also played a big part; they made posters and spread the word around.”
The movie afternoon raised $1,100 that day.
“We were so happy that so many kids donated,” student Manraj Bimrah said. “Some even donated more than $5.”
The kids also came up with another idea to help raise funds – a “loose change” drive.
“We talked about it and decided to make it a little different though,” Hatherly said. “So we asked families to have the kids do chores for the change instead of just sending in money. We thought it would be more meaningful.”
The “loose change” drive was successful as well – over $700 was raised.
In total, the school will send $1,740.74 in donations to the American Red Cross.
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