MIDDLETOWN, NJ - During the first week of January, Nut Swamp Elementary School students and staff embarked on a philanthropic mission to support families in need at St. Jude Children's Hospital.
From Jan. 4-8, students kindergarten to fifth grade took part in a mathematics challenge that raised $34,000 for the Tennessee-based research hospital, which, through donations and fundraising, is able to provide treatment to patients without billing for treatment, travel, housing or food.
"Prior to winter break, Nut Swamp teachers introduced the idea of participating in a Math-a-Thon to raise money for St. Jude children and families. Teachers explained the background of St. Jude to the students and made them aware of the hospital's mission," said Nut Swamp Mathematics Specialist, Abby Friend, who collaborated with third grade Nut Swamp teacher Diane Montesano to organize the fundraiser. "Our Nut Swamp K-5 Tigers wanted in! Excitement grew when students found out that they could be a part of helping St. Jude accomplish their mission."
In December students began registering for the Math-A-Thon fundraiser. Some registered as individuals and others teamed up with siblings. Leading up to the District's winter recess, students worked to develop their persuasive writing muscles by crafting speeches about the cause that could be delivered to friends and family members over the holiday break.
After students collected donations and sponsorships, they returned to class ready to solve math problems and raise funds.
"The students completed one math activity per day, and at the conclusion of the fundraiser, the Nut Swamp community had raised over $34,000," said Friend. "We were very pleased."
For additional information about St. Jude Children's Hospital, please visit www.StJude.org.