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Searingtown Fifth Graders Participated in a Kids For Kenya Fundraiser

Searingtown School Service Day

The Herricks Public Schools’ Searingtown School made a difference on April 6. From raising thousands of dollars for the Kenya Education Fund to distributing “kindness rocks” around the community, students came together to make Searingtown School Service Day a success.

Each grade level developed an idea for a service project and then executed it with enthusiasm. Kindergartners collected dog and cat food and other pet supplies that will be donated to Forgotten Friends of Long Island and Pets4Luv. First-graders recorded audio books with help from their teachers and Computer Teacher Noel Forte. They donated new books to the Ronald McDonald House, with a QR code attached inside each book that will allow the readers to listen to the audio version.

Second-graders performed songs at the Herricks Senior Center and every student wrote a letter to a senior citizen friend. The third grade held a Book for a Buck sale, for which proceeds will be used to beautify the Searingtown courtyard. They also worked with School Librarian Karen Kliegman to create and sell bookmarks to benefit Bide-A-Wee. Fourth-graders painted rocks with kindness messages and delivered them to community neighbors along with letters that explained their purpose.

The fifth grade participated in a Kids for Kenya fundraiser, spearheaded by fifth-grade Teacher Jodie Ruggiano, to raise money for and awareness about the Kenya Education Fund. They garnered more than $4,300 through a bake sale, bracelet and pencil sale and triathlon. This donation will cover the tuition for four years of education for a Kenyan girl in order to prepare her to attend a university, and will also providing clothing, shelter, workshops, computers and even mosquito netting to shield against diseases that are prevalent in Kenya.

STRIVE classes visited the Developmental Disabilities Institute, where they donated seeds to the DDI tower garden and were able to pick lettuce from their garden. Under the guidance of School Social Worker Cheryl Finklestein and School Psychologist Maureen Granfors, a group of fourth-grade students visited the Ronald McDonald House to participate in the Little Hands Helping Little Hands Baking Program for the patients and their families. Music students participated in a Practice-A-Thon to raise funds for The Harry Chapin Food Bank - Long Island Cares, Inc.

Overall, the initiative demonstrated connection within the school and community, as it empowered students with responsibility, engaged their compassion and offered them the chance to affect the lives of others in a positive way.