Employing a variety of inventive fund-raising techniques, students throughout the Hartford Public School system have so far donated about $9,000 and large amounts of food, clothing, household goods and medical supplies to assist the victims of the earthquake that devastated Haiti last month, school officials said.
The money totals are likely to increase over the coming weeks because additional fund-raising activities have yet to take place and others are ongoing, officials said.
“It is encouraging that our students are learning responsibility to others at an early age and that they are able to see themselves as part of a global community,” said Superintendent Steven J. Adamowski. “Their caring, as demonstrated through a variety of
unique projects to contribute to the Haitian relief effort, are deserving of recognition and commendation.”
In some cases, the donations were linked to a particular educational objective. Students at the Montessori Magnet School at Annie Fisher, for example, organized a Haiti Read-a-thon, in which they collect contributions from friends and family at a per hour rate for simply reading. The Read-a-thon continues through the month of February.
Proceeds go to the Hope Is Life Foundation, established by 11-year-old Natascha Yogachandra, which is raising funds to restore schools in Haiti.
Among the students participating in the activity is third-grader Patricia Weaver, 8, of Hartford, who said she has obtained donation pledges from all the members of her family for reading an hour and a half every day. Her book selection includes “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, “The Sugarplum Ballerina” and “Georgia’s Secret Key.”
“I’ll probably collect about $100,” Patricia said.
Her classmate, Evelyn McNamee of Wallingford, said she is hoping to raise about $50 for reading during her three-hour daily commute to and from school.
The Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts, meanwhile, hosted a benefit music and drama performance at which guests were asked to donate a $10 admission fee that went directly to Helping Hands, an organization that aids an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti.
Many schools held “Dress-Down Days”, in which students were permitted to come to class without their uniforms so long as they paid a fee for doing so. Dress down Day at Kennelly Elementary School alone raised more than $1,700.
District schools in which students held fund-raising drives include: Maria Sanchez, Noah Webster Micro-Society Magnet, Simpson-Waverly, Breakthrough Magnet, the Adult Education Center, Ramon E. Betances, Alfred E. Burr, Hartford
Magnet Middle School, the Nursing Academy, the Law and Government Academy, Annie Fisher, Dwight, Bellizzi Middle School, Weaver High School and Moylan.
Other Haitian relief charities that received donations from Hartford students were the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, AmeriCares of Stamford, Doctors Without Borders and the Connecticut Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund.