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Appetite for reading benefits charity

The bags, which the classes assembled Thursday, Dec. 9, include items like shampoo and toothpaste families might have forgotten to pack, as well as candy and other pick-me-ups. Each of the bags kids stuffed and decorated included a dragonfly ornament, a symbol of strength and hope.

Fifth grader Paxton Guy, 10, was drawing a flower on her care bag in Andrew Kourt's classroom. She raised about $200 by reading for 570 minutes, mostly realistic fiction and fantasy books.

"I really tried," she said. "I think it's a great thing to do."

Madeleine Cafarelli, also 10, said her favorite author is J. K. Rowling, writer of the "Harry Potter" series. She read for 215 minutes.

"It's always nice to do stuff for charity," she said as she filled in a rainbow on her care bag. "It makes you feel good."

This is the first collaborative effort between the two classrooms, but both teachers said it's not likely to be the last. They want to make the read-a-thon an annual event, and also want to get the classes together for the June Freihoffer's Run in Albany, to raise even more for the Ronald McDonald House.

"We're trying to sort of make it a year long process, rather than a one time event," said Beth Kourt.""

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