Pupils raise funds for those who have helped others


April 09, 2001|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

TURNING EMOTION into action, a group of East Middle School pupils has begun raising money for the less fortunate.

These less fortunate, however, are not the local homeless or the underprivileged in Baltimore.

These youngsters are reaching out to the hundreds of people who hid and saved Jews during the Holocaust and are living in poverty.

"We'd just finished an in-depth study of the Holocaust, and I told a local rabbi that I didn't know what to do with all the emotion that the students were feeling," said Heather Shulman, the school's extended enrichment teacher who taught the unit on "Man's Inhumanity to Man" with Paula Davidson.

After nine weeks of reading poems and diaries about Holocaust survivors and their experiences, the seventh-graders were devastated, Shulman said.

The rabbi suggested activity, and recommended a New York organization called the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. For about 15 years, the group has provided food, medical care and clothing to impoverished people who risked their lives to protect their Jewish friends and neighbors during World War II.

"The response has been phenomenal," said Shulman, who teaches advanced reading classes at the Westminster school. "The students really wanted to do something."

Letters written by pupils have been sent to local newspapers informing the public about the group and asking for donations.

A group of youngsters after school is crocheting five stuffed animals, which they raffled with 25-cent tickets.

The activity, which ended Friday, collected $57 the first week.

Pupils have filled two large jars with M&M's and Skittles, and will sell chances to guess how many candies are in each jar as a way to raise money, Shulman said.

"We have not ventured to guess how much money they'd like to raise," she said, noting pupils' enthusiasm for the project. "We'll be accepting any donations that we can get and are going to send them to the foundation."

Information: Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, 212-727-9955, or www.jfr.org.

Contributions: East Middle School, 410-751-3656.

Literary license

Pupils at Friendship Valley Elementary in Westminster are selling copies of their literary anthology to benefit Carroll County Literacy Council and the Brett Berman Scholarship Fund.

The young authors were expected to celebrate this achievement Friday by sponsoring a book signing and readings during their Winter's Festival.

Copies of the poetry and short story collection, called "Dolphin Tales," are available for $3.

Information: 410-751-3650.

Honoring volunteers

Jennifer Haifley, a Westminster High School senior, recently was recognized for her outstanding volunteer efforts by the Maryland Student Service Alliance and the Maryland State Department of Education.

Haifley, who received the Service Star Award in a ceremony at Villa Julie College on March 22, frequently raises money for organizations such as the American Diabetes Association through walkathons.

She also has volunteered many hours at Northwest Hospital Center in the Randallstown hospital's plant operations office, and has been involved in several projects to help the homeless.

Amy L. Miller's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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