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Friday, December 22, 2000

Pupils find ways
to raise cash for
Good Neighbor Fund

By Treena Shapiro

Fourth-grader Alyssa Nii hopes that the books she read over the last month will help a needy family.

By participating in Alvah A. Scott Elementary School's fourth grade month-long Read-a-Thon, Nii helped raise $36.50. She read books like "Sable" and "The Best School Year Ever," books she said she would have read anyway.

The four fourth-grade classes together raised about $800 to improve their classroom libraries and to donate to charity. The classes gave $100 to the Star-Bulletin's Good Neighbor Fund.

"I hope it goes to needy families that are less fortunate than I am," the 9-year-old said. "It makes me feel good inside that I'm helping them and I'm also getting a bit more educated." Nii surpassed her 150-page reading goal by more than 700 pages.

Other Oahu elementary school students donated hundreds of dollars to the charity this month by collecting pennies and doing chores.

Second- and third-grade special-education students at Pearl City Highlands Elementary School organized the Kindness Pennies Project and encouraged the entire school to donate pennies for charity. They raised $400.62 for the Good Neighbor Fund.

At Mililani Waena Elementary School, students in six second-grade classrooms did chores to raise $206.64 for the fund.

"One of the students would go home and give her mother a massage and she would get 10 cents," said teacher Ann Kimura. "Another one of my students would get 25 cents for cleaning up doggy poop."

Students weren't allowed to get paid for their regular chores, but had to do something extra for a small amount of money, Kimura said.

"It doesn't matter what the amount was, but that you truly gave from your heart," she said. "They were truly experiencing that Christmas is a time for giving."

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