Family Connections Inspire Middle School Students to Collect Relief Funds for the Philippines

clientuploads/IMG_2693.jpgDuring a current events discussion in a sixth grade classroom at SKY Academy, three students – Tiffany Prater, William Menard and Luwell Abarintos – shared the personal stories of family members and friends affected by the storm in the southeast Asian country. Language Arts teacher Elaine Zimmerman encouraged the discussion, and soon a small group decided they wanted to help raise money to send to the storm victims.


Classmates Jennifer Lukowski, Ariana Kerr and Dakota Vahle along with Prater, Menard and Abarintos decided to collect spare change from the school’s 101 members of the sixth grade class. They painted posters to hang throughout the school building, and during two weeks managed to raise $104.40. The money was donated in the name of the school to UNICEF.


“This was a genuine, grassroots effort by the students to care for someone else,” said teacher Elaine Zimmerman. “They impressed me with their desire to help others.”


SKY Academy was founded in 2011 by the Venice YMCA. SKY Academy, which stands for Strength and Knowledge at the YMCA, has a focus based on research that proves physical activity builds and conditions the brain for learning. As a tuition-free, Sarasota public charter middle school, SKY Academy examines lessons through the lens of wellness and we aim to give students and their families a healthy living foundation for life.


Pictured (L-R): SKY Academy sixth grade students Jennifer Lukowski, Tiffany Prater, William Menard, Ariana Kerr and Luwell Abarintos helped raise more than $100 for UNICEF to aid victims of Typhoon Hiyan in the Philippines.

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