Reading to Support A Worldly Cause

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Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School students read thousands of pages as they took part in a read-a-thon to raise funds for the Madagascar Ankizy Fund this spring.

Throughout the initiative, students were encouraged to secure sponsors to pledge a penny for each page of a book read. This tradition began in 1999 and, since its inception, students have raised enough money to build a school in Madagascar called Manobo. Annually, JAE works to raise $1,000, which is enough money to cover the salaries of the two teachers at the school. This year, JAE raised more than $1,600.

To kick off the event, the students were visited by two dental students, Rita O’Dwyer and Sarah Lukeman, as they discussed their work in Madagascar and shared pictures. At the conclusion of the read-a-thon, the school was visited by Eric Callendar from Erik’s Reptile Edventures.  Mr. Callendar showcased several reptiles and spoke about the importance of conservation and his work in Madagascar.

According to their website, the goals of the Madagascar Ankizy Fund (ankizy means children in the Malagasy language) are to build schools and hold clinics in remote areas of Madagascar. They also support basic health and hygiene by providing training, digging clean water wells, distributing mosquito nets and installing latrines. The Madagascar Ankizy Fund was founded in 1998 by paleontologist Dr. David W. Krause, a professor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University. Dr. Krause, as well as various colleagues and students involved in paleontological research in Madagascar, are committed to improving the lives of Malagasy children.