SOURCE: Long Island President's Council

February 01, 2010 22:26 ET

Long Island Students Learn Valuable Lessons as They Support Haitian Earthquake Victims

LONG ISLAND, NY--(Marketwire - February 1, 2010) - Students and teachers from public schools across Long Island are learning a special lesson in social responsibility and using creative tactics in an effort to raise money to support victims of the recent devastating earthquakes in Haiti. From skipping a meal in order to donate their lunch money to paying a charitable fine for wearing a hat in class, students are coming together to help those in need. For many it has become a lesson in compassion and in making a difference within our world. And for Long Island public school educators who are working alongside their students and encouraging the spirit of giving in such a critical time of need, it is a great way to teach social responsibility.

The initiatives which are taking place in public schools across Long Island demonstrate a level of compassion which touches the heart. Teachers in the Syosset School District recently donated $1,000 to the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti while the student government is coordinating a fund drive among ten individual schools. At the Seaford Middle School, students have hosted a fundraiser to support the American Red Cross. South Side Middle School in Rockville Centre and the Jack Abrams Intermediate School in Huntington Station suspended their "no hat" rule and collected between $1 and $2.00 per student/staff member for a "license" to wear a hat. South Side Middle School raised more than $1,200 in one day for the Haitian relief fund.

"We are all learning that no matter how small the donation may be, it's something that will have a positive impact on the many people in need," said Jeff Rozran of the Syosset Teachers' Association and Board Member of NYSUT. "It's important for our students to learn social responsibility and that they can make a significant difference by their actions," he added. And this is one lesson students seem to be learning. In Mineola, the high school's Student Services Center, Student Government and Red Cross Club teamed up to host a pancake breakfast for a $3.00 per person donation that attracted students, parents and neighbors. The spirit of giving was prominent at North Country Road Middle School in Miller Place where students donating $5.00 each wore red and blue in honor of Haiti's flag to benefit the nonprofit organization Doctors Without Borders whose members have been providing life saving treatment to the thousands injured in the quakes. Students at West Babylon Junior High School have decided to forego buying snacks and instead are depositing that money to benefit the nonprofit group Friend of the Orphans.

"Students on Long Island understand the importance of supporting those in need, and that is especially true right now while so many Haitian families and children are suffering in the aftermath of earthquake," said Paule Pachter, Executive Director of Long Island Cares, Inc. the Long Island food bank that has benefitted from numerous school-based food drives to support Long Island's hungry. "I'm sure that young people all over Long Island have seen the images from Haiti and have had opportunities to discuss the earthquake in their classes. It doesn't surprise me that our teachers are working closely with their students to rally this type of support. They come together for their neighbors in need so why not extend that sense of caring to our global neighbors in Haiti," expressed Pachter.

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