NJ Elementary Students Help Children Around the World

Students from Kathy Merklinger’s third grade class and Miss Ellen Colandrea’s fourth grade class display their UNICEF banner in a group photo in the school courtyard. (Photo by Rudy Brandl of Fanwood)

EDISON — For more than 60 years, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has served as a “Kids Helping Kids” campaign. The students in Ellen Colandrea’s and Kathy Merklinger’s classes at Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison recently learned about the realities that countless children in the developing world must endure every day as they struggle to survive in the face of disease, disasters, and other hardships such as poor nutrition. The students also discussed the difference between human “wants” and human “needs”. Both classes were amazed to hear that only 25 cents provides 10 children with clean water to drink for a day, and only $50 can vaccinate 85 children against polio for life.

The presentation motivated some of the students to ask for UNICEF donations instead of candy as they were trick-or-treating for Halloween. By making a small sacrifice of their own, the third and fourth graders wanted to give some of their peers thousands of miles away the best hope for survival. Lowy Shim, a fourth grader from Warren, was so inspired that he donated his personal savings, initially earmarked to purchase something special for himself.

The combined total of both classes was $625.


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