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NWCS students create holiday cards, help typhoon victims

Selling holiday cards bearing their classmates’ original art in a recent fundraiser to help Philippine typhoon victims were North Warren fourth graders (front, left to right):  John Mesch, Thomas Conway, Olivia Slater, Andrew Beadnell, Brayden Olden, Chloe Castro, (rear): Amelia Hilton, Isabella Swartz, Nicole Buckman, Katelyn Turano, Aleya Williamson, Alana Thacker, Isabella Lewis, and Jacquelyn Rundall.
Photo provided

Selling holiday cards bearing their classmates’ original art in a recent fundraiser to help Philippine typhoon victims were North Warren fourth graders (front, left to right): John Mesch, Thomas Conway, Olivia Slater, Andrew Beadnell, Brayden Olden, Chloe Castro, (rear): Amelia Hilton, Isabella Swartz, Nicole Buckman, Katelyn Turano, Aleya Williamson, Alana Thacker, Isabella Lewis, and Jacquelyn Rundall. Photo provided

— Concerned about the severe hardships that Philippine families were experiencing in the wake of the devastating typhoon, a classroom of North Warren Elementary students launched a fundraiser to help out.

In doing so, they combined creativity with their charity — they created holiday designs that were transformed into holiday greeting cards that they sold to peers, family, and neighbors.

Through the project, the Fourth Grade students taught by Poul Carstensen raised $350 for the American Red Cross relief effort to help Philippine families in dire need of medical care, food, water and clothing.

Meanwhile, the children expressed their artistic talents. Before Thanksgiving, the fourth graders created drawings of various holiday scenes and Carstensen computerized the images and produced notecards bearing the students’ artistry. Through the process, Carstensen demonstrated to the students the functions of publishing software.

“Their artwork was fresh, original and spontaneous,” Carstensen said, noting the children created the artwork on their own time. “I’m in awe of what they came up with.”

The holiday notecards, in full color and printed on quality paper stock, were sold by the students at $10 per package to their peers, teachers, and North Warren staff members. Student Katelyn Turano was the top salesperson in the effort, Carstensen said.

This isn’t the first year Carstensen’s students have conducted the fundraiser. In past years, his pupils have raised money for the local food pantry, the ASPCA, and for the United Nations International Children’s Relief Fund — which the students chose after hearing of the poverty, hunger and lack of medical care plaguing third world countries. They also have conducted fundraisers to benefit tsunami victims in Japan, and Jamaican citizens with urgent needs.

This recent effort demonstrated the young students’ concern for people facing overwhelming circumstances, Carstensen said.

“Not only is their artistry is top notch, they really bought into the idea of helping others,” he said. “And I was very humbled by the response we got from the community.”

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