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Local students give the gift of reading

Program will help to donate books to Schoharie schools

Local resident Carol Kurto shows the sutdents of Saratoga Independent School a presentation about the devestation in Schoharie County from Tropical Storm Irene.

Local resident Carol Kurto shows the sutdents of Saratoga Independent School a presentation about the devestation in Schoharie County from Tropical Storm Irene.

— “It helps the money go farther,” said the Director of Schools Melissa Verga. “Since joining the Saratoga Independent School in July, I have been impressed that not only do our students embrace our school motto of ‘We take care of ourselves, each other and our community,’ but they truly exemplify our mission by employing teamwork to solve a problem that enriches both their childhood and the childhood of others.”

In the past, books have been given to the Saratoga County Head Start program, the Franklin Community Center and The Double H Ranch, a Lake George camp for children with critical illnesses.

The students decided to where to donate the money this year after resident Carol Kurto gave a presentation at the school about the damage that was sustained in Schoharie County during the storm. She had been helping people clean out their homes and wanted the children to understand that some local residents and children just like them had lost everything they owned.

“She presented a slide show to the kids and they were captivated, almost in disbelief,” said Karlitz.

The presentation has inspired the students to give back in other ways, too. Since the presentation, Karlitz said the students learned that residents could use gift cards, so they are working on ways to raise extra money to donate those as well.

Along with donating the books in June, the school is working with Superintendent of the Schoharie Central School District Brian Sherman, so the elementary schools can create a lasting educational partnership. Through Skype, written correspondence and coming together for some special events, the hope is students from both schools will improve their communication, reading and writing skills.

“We are very pleased to be able to connect with other schools so that our students can share ideas, opinions and be able to talk with others about what has happened here, but also to make special connections to students outside our area,” said Sherman.

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