IS 285 Students Raise Funds For Europe Trip
Imagine you're in junior high school and, with the help of fellow classmates, you raise enough money to visit the Eiffel Tower in France and to learn about a culture thousands of miles away from home for ten glorious days.
Since last June, twenty eight academically outstanding students at Meyer Levin Intermediate School 285 raised funds to go to Spain and France this summer. They received assistance from teachers, parents and elected officials, who represent the East Flatbush school's district.
Roderick Daley, the teacher who coordinated the fundraising, said, "This is the first fundraiser Meyer Levin has had and it's been successful. The kids hosted events such as a car wash, a basketball game and a dinner - raising $36,000. With this trip, I hope to show them that there is life outside the classroom and everything they're learning about is real.
"Most of these students are from the Caribbean and when they come to America, all they know is what they learn and see in books. This will be a fun and educational experience for them all at once," he added.
State Senator John Sampson and City Councilman Nick Perry were among the elected officials who made donations.
Daley, an alumnus of the school, has worked at I.S. 285 since 2001 and said the original goal was to raise $72,000 but what they collected is sufficient to make the trip.
Seventh grader Hanifah James said her favorite fundraising event was the car wash.
"We had a water fight at the end," she said. "I look forward to eating different foods, seeing new places and learning about different cultures. I'm also glad to be going away for ten days."
"I want to see and learn about different historical landmarks," said Ashlee Cummings, another seventh grader. "The process of fundraising is difficult but it's inspired me to help the school with future fundraising for other students."
Parents like Harry Jugmohan, who made financial contributions, said this was the first time he has participated in school activities.
"I wanted to help the kids because some of us parents don't have enough money and it's for a great cause. I'm glad I didn't have to worry about raising the money all by myself," he said.
Principal Edward Gentile said students, parents and aides did a wonderful job and he hopes the fundraiser becomes an annual event so more money can be raised for future trips.
Karen Barrett, a parent who helped coordinate the car wash, is excited for her seventh grade son. "I hope he has a lot of fun. I told him to be open minded about everything he experiences. I'm really proud of him."