Local students aid hurricane victims

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Ridge Mills Elementary School students raised $1,100 to help an elementary school in Florida that was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma last year, and they spoke Friday with students at the school through a Skype video conference.

Ridge Mills sixth-graders, who led the outreach program to help hurricane victims in Immokalee, Fla., spoke via Skype with students at Eden Park Elementary School there. Immokalee is in Collier County in the southern end of Florida.

Funding was raised by Ridge Mills students through steps including “spirit days” at the school that involved students donating 25 cents to wear special clothing such as hats or shirts, plus a bottle-and-can drive with an outreach booth at the Ridge Mills Craft Fair, said teacher Sue Kaier. A check was sent out shortly after Christmas, she added. Hurricane Irma struck Florida last September.

Ridge Mills sixth-graders decided to lead the outreach for Immokalee after the Ridge Mills “one school, one book” program for students was “The Water Horse,” which features a major storm at the beginning of the book.

According to information by Ridge Mills students about their fundraising, the school “heard about the city of Immokalee and has decided to help a school in this city called Eden Park Elementary. Eden Park has been severely damaged and Ridge Mills wants to help. And since this year’s ‘one book one book’ at Ridge starts with a big storm they have decided to help....”

Students “hope that the money they raise” for Eden Park “can start to rebuild their school.” They also noted that people in Immokalee “have lost so much of their property and belongings. And, even worse many of them cannot afford insurance which makes it even harder on them.” Immokalee is described as a rural migrant worker town, according to miamiherald.com online.

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