Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Ricks Center students raise awareness and funds for nonprofits

Students at the Ricks Center for Gifted Children staffed booths in the center’s lobby representing nine nonprofit agencies from Roots and Shoots to the Wildlife Adoption Center April 28 and 29.

“The ice is melting a lot,” says Eytan Michaelson, a kindergartner. “What we want most of all is to adopt a mother and two cubs.”

Michaelson’s class sold cookies to raise money for the Wildlife Adoption Center’s Adopt-a-Polar Bear program.

As the students learned about community and world needs in class, they asked for a way to raise money, and in response, the Kids Who Care Table Fair was organized.

“These students have a strong sense of justice,” says Susan Murphy-Jacobs, office manager at the Ricks Center. “We try and encourage them and give them an outlet.”

Eighth-graders Eva Neleigh and Danika Holmes sold painted tiles and brownies for Nothing But Nets, an organization that supplies nets to prevent the spread of malaria.

“It’s an epidemic,” says Neleigh. “They buy nets for $10 each and give them out in Africa and Asia.”

Eithth-grade twins Maddie O’Connell and Claire O’Connell sold cookies shaped like whales and dolphins to raise money for Greenpeace’s Save the Whale program.

“They have a comprehensive approach to stopping whaling,” says Claire O’Connell. “They are great animals and set an example for people about how we should live peacefully.”

At the end of the two-day event, the O’Connell twins had raised more than $100 and the kindergarten class raised enough to adopt a mother bear and her two cubs.

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