Greenport students read to fight hunger

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Students Jennifer Palencia, Grace Dinizio, Emelys Villareal, Sam Strickland and Jill Golden will read to raise money to fight hunger.

Elementary school students in Greenport are learning early about community service and the personal satisfaction that comes with helping others. Members of the Early Act Club, a Rotary community service organization for elementary students, have been soliciting pledges through a “Read to Feed” drive to help people in the community who are hungry.

Each of the club’s 24 members is seeking sponsors to make a pledge for each book that student reads this month. The Greenport Rotary plans to match those contributions, according to school social worker Jillian Ruroede.

This isn’t the first time the students have reached out to help people in need. In 2010, they raised $600 to provide Thanksgiving baskets for five families through Community Action of Southold Town, Ms. Ruroede said.

For this drive, Ms. Ruroede said, she may ask CAST to step in and convert donations into food for particular families, or she may buy gift cards at local markets and make sure they get to those who need them.

“Anything to help feed the community is what this program is about,” she said of the pledge drive.

Early Act is an after-school program like the Rotary’s Interact program, which is for junior and senior high school students.

“I always kind of throw ideas out there” and students select the projects that appeal to them, Ms. Ruroede said.

Another of last year’s programs raised money for Cystic Fibrosis research. A child Ms. Ruroede knows suffers from the illness.
As for the current Reed to Feed program, the student who raises the most money will be acknowledged as the pledge-drive winner. The first year the district participated in the Early Act program, a first-grader won the honors, Ms. Ruroede said.
Those who would like to support the Read to Feed program may send a check payable to Greenport School Early Act to Greenport School, 720 Front St., Greenport, NY 11944.

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