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School supports Multiple Sclerosis research

Written on March 7th, 2008

[caption id=”attachment_3409” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”]SnakeFS Reptile Rob and Beacon students have fun with snake.[/caption]

Students read 600 books to raise funds

Beacon Christian Schools Elementary School in St. Catharines recently held a three-week read-a-thon to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research.

The school’s 260 students pledged to read 600 books within the three-week timeframe. They collected pledges based on the number of books they read.

To make the challenge a little more interesting, Gerritsma promised to kiss a snake if the students came through on their commitment.

She says the students, probably energized by the prospect of seeing their principal in close contact with a reptile, really came through and got involved this year.

The whole school, including teachers, read their books at a specific time each day, which encouraged full participation as well. For each book read, the students filled out a form and added it to a snake wall.

The school raised $3,400 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, significantly more than was raised in last year’s event.

True to her word, Gerritsma invited Reptile Rob, a Burlington reptile owner and showman, to a school assembly Feb. 29. He brought a 65-pound, 10-foot python for the principal, who says she’s always liked snakes, to kiss.

[caption id=”attachment_3408” align=”alignright” width=”150”]snakekiss150 Principal Gerritsma comes through on her promise to kiss the snake.[/caption]

Beacon elementary school has been participating in the MS Read-A-Thon, which is headed up by the MS Society of Canada, for years. It is the school’s primary community service project.

Gerritsma says that the Beacon community has several parents and supporters who have been diagnosed with MS, which makes the fundraiser particularly meaningful.

The read-a-thon also provides students with an opportunity to put the school’s vision of “equipping students with knowledge and wisdom for service in God’s world” into concrete action.

“We do it because we want to be vision consistent,” says Gerritsma. “This is part of the implementation of our vision and that’s the way we talk about it with the students as well.”