North Ridge fifth-grader organizes fundraiser for Haiti

Many people have watched television coverage of destruction in Haiti following an earthquake last month, but one North Ridge Elementary School student was moved to begin organizing a fundraiser for the people of Haiti.

Her efforts helped raise more than $3,000 for the quake-stricken nation.

Fallyn Berry, a fifth-grader at North Ridge, sent an e-mail to Principal Cheryl Booher after watching the coverage. She asked if students could do anything to help.

“We were watching the news, and I saw all the people there,” said Berry. “I like to help with stuff like that.”

Booher said it is not a normal response for a elementary school student to send an e-mail to a principal asking to fundraise following a catastrophe, noting that Berry showed courage in just asking.

“She’s very humble. She saw a need, and she said it really worried her that these kids were not being taken care of,” said Booher.

Berry said she thought students could participate in a hate day or a crazy hair day to raise money, but Booher allowed her to work with her homeroom teacher, Kim Williams, to come up with a special fundraising activity and advertised it over North Ridge’s television program, NRTV.

“I thought we’d raise money for a day or so, but I didn’t think we’d raise as much money as we did,” said Berry.

Classrooms competed to raise money, with the winning classroom getting to have its teacher swap places with Booher for a day. Fourth-graders in Jill Schulte’s class won the contest. The more than $3,000 will be donated to the American Red Cross for victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Berry said it was bittersweet that her own class lost to Schulte’s by about $20 in the fundraising effort. She said she was sad they did not win, but also glad that North Ridge students raised so much.

“The amazing thing about it, was, it was probably only a nine-day campaign,” said Booher.

But she said fourth- and fifth-graders were very interested in the earthquake because they had just finished a unit in Earth science that made them more aware about natural disasters such hurricanes.

“The kids all seemed to connect to the fact that there were children like them in another country that had lost everything,” said Booher.

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