School One Students in Scotch Plains Raise $5,000 for Needy Kids in Read-a-Thon

Students at School One Elementary School pose for a picture with community leaders, including SP-F Superintendent Dr. Margaret Hayes, Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith and Township Manager Al Mirabella. Credits: John Mooney
On Saturday, Sept. 9, Mayor Al Smith will meet with constituents at the Scotch Plains Farmers Market to discuss upcoming downtown redevelopment plans. Credits: Sean Conklin
School One Elementary School students listen to various speakers throughout the morning. Credits: John Mooney
Elementary school students at School One Elementary School watch an educational documentary on the impact of poverty throughout the world. Credits: Sean Conklin
Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith reads a proclamation recognizing the students and their great work throughout the inaugural read-a-thon, which raised $5,000 to help fight world poverty. Credits: John Mooney
School One Principal Justin Fiory had great praise for his students and their collective efforts in their first-ever read-a-thon program to raise $5,000 to help fight world poverty. Credits: John Mooney
Ana Teresa Dango, former UN ambassador from Costa Rica, commended the students for their efforts. Credits: John Mooney
Video tribute from children of Malawi Credits: John Mooney
Bill Graham of the Westfield Rotary Club speaks to elementary school students on the great potential they have to make an impact and the accomplishments they have already achieved. Credits: Sean Conklin
School One Principal Justin Fiory commends the students for their efforts to help others. Credits: John Mooney
School One Principal Justin Fiory hands out an award for participation excellence during the read-a-thon assembly. Credits: Sean Conklin
Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club member Steve Goldberg speaks to students on the power that they have to make a difference in society. Credits: Sean Conklin
Students take pride in their participation awards of the read-a-thon program. Credits: Sean Conklin

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The celebration on Wednesday included leaders of the Scotch Plains Rotary Club, the mayor, the township manager, schools superintendent and even a UN ambassador. The dignitaries arrived to commend students at School One in Scotch Plains who raised $5,000 -- enough money to feed hundreds of the world’s poorest children for an entire year and enable them to attend school. The students also received thanks from Mayor Al Smith, who read a proclamation to the audience, and a video greeting from children in Malawi.

In December 2016, the elementary school students pledged to raise money through a read-a-thon to benefit Mary's Meals, which feeds more than one million hungry children across the world. The organization aims to provide chronically hungry children with one meal every school day and encourages education that can lift them out of poverty in later life.

As part of a dual program that includes the community-oriented visions of the Kids Care Club (School One Elementary School) and Dare to Be Great (Rotary Club), students participated in the read-a-thon from January 9-20. The reading initiative was co-sponsored by the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club, which actively aims to empower kids at a young age to make a positive impact in the community through its Dare to Be Great program.

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"We showed them videos in the fall encouraging the School One students that 'We've got the power!', and they proved it. Maybe we (The Rotary Club) will look to bring this program to other schools in the area," said Steve Goldberg, president-elect of the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club and assistant governor of Rotary district 7510.

"The goal really is to get them to read more and to have corporate sponsors make the donations rather than having the kids be fundraisers. It wound up being quite a success," is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.

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