Middle School Students Connect with IB School in Puerto Rico

Pelham Cares, the Middle School service-learning club and G.O., the student government, recently teamed up to raise funds for hurricane relief efforts.

The middle school students recently held a successful Hat Day on Friday, Oct. 6 at which 8th grade students contributed $1 or more for the right to wear a hat for the day.

With the proceeds in hand, the Pelham Cares club sought an effective and meaningful way to contribute toward the relief efforts and found The Robinson School, an International Baccalaureate (IB) school in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This possibility proved a strong match since Pelham Middle School is also an IB school. Pelham Cares Advisor Joshua Steinfeld connected with Robinson’s Academic Dean Thomas Novak and arrangements were made to donate to their two hurricane relief campaigns: Clean H20 4 PR and Heart of Service Fund.

On Nov. 14, Pelham Cares students and Robinson students continued to foster the connection between the two schools via a Skype call during which they each shared their thoughts and feelings about the devastation caused by the recent hurricanes. On the call, Pelham students learned about the experiences of Robinson’s students during and after the hurricanes as well as about relief efforts.

“The Skype call helped me to see and understand how the hurricanes affected Puerto Rico from the perspectives of people who actually went through it and this makes me glad that we could help them,” said Pelham sixth grader Riana Ann Binu. “The plan is to continue these virtual interactions and the next call is already in the works.”

Pelham Middle School Principal Dr. Robert Roelle added, “It is important for us to continue to instill a sense of empathy, service and global citizenship as a life-long commitment and responsibility for our students. Many young adolescents want to reach out to others and feel that they can have a positive impact on the world. Activities like these give them the opportunity to not only make a connection with students who live in another part of the world, in this case, Puerto Rico, but can also learn what it is like to work hard for the benefit of others who have experienced great hardship in their lives.”

Raising the funds, collaboration and communication with another IB school are great examples of the IB Middle Years Program, which emphasizes students being internationally-minded caring thinkers and communicators who make a difference.

Pelham Middle School students are continue to assist Robinson’s efforts in Puerto Rico. Anyone interested in donating is encouraged to visit https://www.generosity.com/emergencies-fundraising/clean-h2o-4-pr-robinson-school-student-campaign or https://www.gofundme.com/robinson-home-and-community-fund

Every donation helps and 100% of funds go directly to the areas of need specified by each campaign.

If you have any questions, please send an email to the Pelham Cares Advisor Joshua Steinfeld at jsteinfeld@pelhamschools.org.