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China quake moves students; Class raising funds for victims.

Byline: Sandy Meindersma

PAXTON - Graduation is usually about looking ahead to future plans while reminiscing over school day memories.

However, for this year's eighth-grade class, graduation is also about looking beyond themselves and making a difference in the world.

Each year, as part of the graduation festivities at the Paxton Center School, parents and students on the graduation committee choose a theme for the dance that follows the ceremony. Then they spend several weeks making decorations for it.

This year's theme is China, and when the devastating earthquake struck on May 12, students and members of the graduation committee, led by Lyndsey Letourneau and Katherine Bunker, decided to take action to build awareness of the devastation in the quake-stricken region.

"We thought it would be best to raise some money," Lyndsey said. "We want to make people aware of what's happened in China."

To date, the committee has raised nearly $200 and is appealing to the community to increase that amount.

"We've collected donations from students and parents," Katherine said. "We've posted signs around town. We're trying to get the community to help those people who really need our help."

Principal Anthony M. DeFrino is very impressed with their efforts.

"For the students to hear of a world tragedy and take it under their wings is wonderful," he said. "To be cognizant of world concerns is excellent, especially as we become aware of how such a small world it is."

Donations are being accepted until Friday. Checks may be made payable to the American Red Cross and sent to Paxton Center School, 19 West Street, Paxton, Mass., 01612, attention: Lyndsey Letourneau or Katherine Bunker.

ART: PHOTO

CUTLINE: A group of Paxton Center School students are raising money for earthquake victims in China. They are, front row from left, Lyndsey Letourneau, Lisa Palombo, Bridget Kelley, Emma West, Sarah Henderson and Sarah Faucher; in the back row from left, Caitlin White, Tania Papandrea, Hayley Gleason, Emily Fontaine, Jordan Koliss and Atonela Prifti. Katherine Bunker was not available.

PHOTOG: RICH DUGAS
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 11, 2008
Words:338
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