SCSD Students Work to Aid Those Impacted by Nepal Earthquake

     Published on 5/13/15   Tagged under:    District News   

Students from several SCSD schools have taken up collections and have organized fundraisers in support of those impacted by the earthquake that devastated Nepal in late April.
With more than 440 SCSD students identifying as Nepali or Bhutanese-Nepali, many themselves born and raised in Nepal, the earthquake hit a personal note.
Fowler ESL teachers Dawn Kivlehan and Chelsey MacDougall said some of these Nepalese students came to them asking what they could do to help their friends and relatives back in Nepal.
Fowler senior Daya Timsina explained, “I have many friends in Nepal. They are posting on Facebook, ‘We are OK here.’ But I am still sad for what happened. We are a family. We had to do something for them.”
At Fowler, students decided to sell rubber bracelets imprinted with the words ‘Fowler for Nepal.’ In just two days, students had sold the first shipment of 600 bracelets and teachers placed a new order for additional product.
Ms. MacDougall praised students for their activism. “It’s not just our Nepali students selling the bracelets—all students have been asking to get involved. It’s really brought us together as a community.”
Daya agreed. “Everyone is helping and asking to buy bracelets,” she said. “Everyone is supporting us. It makes us happy.”
That support extends throughout the district. At Dr. King, students conducted a ‘Nickels for Nepal’ effort. “We work with students from three Nepali families daily,” ESL teacher Staci Schaffer said. “When news broke about the earthquake, we knew we had to do something that would let our Dr. King community contribute no matter how much or how little they had.” The school’s effort raised over $215, which was used to purchase phone cards for the Nepali families at Dr. King so they could contact family and friends still living in the region.
“It has been heart-warming to see the generosity of the students and staff at Dr. King,” Ms. Schaffer expressed. “Many people did not even know where Nepal is, let alone that we have students from Nepal right here in Syracuse. It has been a wonderful reminder to those in our building that we are part of a much larger global community!”
At Ed Smith, the Student Council hosted a car wash with all proceeds benefiting relief efforts in Nepal. Upon hearing about the earthquake, School Social Worker Lauren Angelone knew she had to take action. “I believe I have a responsibility to teach my students that when there is a part of the world suffering, it is our role as leaders to respond with compassion and through action,” she said. But she was amazed at the students’ passion to help those in Nepal. 
“I have been simply blown away at their desire to help others and make a lasting contribution to their community, locally and globally,” she added, noting that the students’ car wash raised more than $1,100 for earthquake relief.
Nottingham students have joined the club as well, raising more than $200 for Nepal relief efforts thanks to the commitment of the school’s ESL students. ESL teacher Lauren Cirulli said that the week after the earthquake, students stayed after school to create posters requesting donations to benefit Nepal.
“The students and staff at Nottingham have been very supportive of our Nepali students and their fundraising efforts,” Ms. Cirulli said. “Ultimately, the dedication of all the students here at Nottingham during this time shows that they are continuing to grow in their ability to become active citizens not only in their community, but also around the world.”
Other schools in the district are hard at work for the same mission. At Corcoran, each class competed to collect the most money in a “Pennies for Nepal” drive which raised more than $1,200. Henninger students raised more than $600 for the earthquake relief, which they donated to a UNICEF “Earthquake in Nepal” fund. At ITC, students hosted a bottle and can drive to assist those in Nepal. Students at H.W. Smith participated in a "Quarters for the Quake" fundraiser, allowing them to purchase freeze pops with proceeds going to the Bhutanese community. Roberts School hosted weekly "Raffle for Relief" events, and Lincoln Middle School announced that the admission cost for their World Culture Night on June 18th will be donated to Nepal efforts. At Huntington and LeMoyne schools, students contributed to a Nepal fund in exchange for the opportunity to wear a hat to school. LeMoyne even went a step further, raffling off a free lunch to teachers, with proceeds benefitting the Red Cross.
LeMoyne ESL teacher Michaela Clark said students and staff donated $545 through their efforts. “We have many students here at LeMoyne that moved here from Nepal, and when their classmates saw how heartbroken they were, they were eager to show support,” she explained. “Students came in with their own money and were excited, not about the ability to wear a hat, but about the opportunity to help. Our ESL team is very proud that the school could rally together and learn about the importance of coming together as a community.”
At Fowler, students and staff hope to keep the effort going as long as they can. “They’re going to need the money in Nepal for a long time,” Ms. Kivlehan explained. “This isn’t something we’re just going to stop.”

View photos of each school's effort in our Flickr album >>>