SPRINGFIELD, NJ - After raising money in the 2016-2017 school year to “Fill an Ark,” Saint James the Apostle School decided its next major mission would be focused on clean water.

The school’s Technology instructor, Mary-Alice Zavocki, became aware of charity: water after learning about its founder, Scott Harrison, and how like the prodigal son, he decided to turn his life around and do something good. His story was shared via video with students in the appropriate grades and retold to younger students.

All students were interested to learn that there are people in this world who do not have access to clean, drinkable water and wanted to do what they could to help. This was when the “Every Drop Counts” mission was born.

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The students set a goal of raising $5,000. After numerous bake sales involving all grades as bakers and sellers, a t-shirt design contest and sale, and many more activities, the congregation did it. 

Third-grader Emily Lagemann even donated her birthday gifts, totaling $300 to the cause. On the last day of school, Saint James the Apostle School principal, Mrs. Caroline Ponterio, announced the school had raised $5,577 and counting.

The money will be donated to charity: water. Private donors cover charity: water’s operating costs, so 100% of the funds Saint James raised will bring clean water to those in need. It takes just $30 to provide someone with clean drinking water for one year. At the moment, the school’s efforts will support clean water for over 185 individuals for a year.

Saint James the Apostle School students have raised over $16,500 over the last four years for the following organizations: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (Pennies for Patients), Heifer International, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and charity: water.

Saint James the Apostle School has been serving the parishioners of Saint James the Apostle Church in Springfield and surrounding communities since 1953. Saint James the Apostle School offers students from PreK-3 through grade eight a Roman Catholic faith-based education which acknowledges each child's individual ability to achieve their fullest potential academically, socially, and spiritually.

Saint James the Apostle School is located at 41 S. Springfield Avenue, Springfield, NJ 07081. Call 973-376-5194 or Email sjschool@sjspringfield.org  for more information.