North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) students sprang to action following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in Nepal on April 25. Seventh graders sponsored a “dress-down day” (when students, faculty and staff dress casually in return for a $3 donation to a cause) to benefit Oxfam, an organization providing relief efforts in Nepal. Fifth graders are hosting a “Nibbles for Nepal” bake sale to benefit Save the Children.
Fifth grade teacher Shannon Gallagher explained, “We recently completed a study about plate tectonics and were amazed to learn of the earthquake as well as the volcanic eruption that happened in Chile over last weekend.” Since there were no dress-down days available, the class decided on a bake sale and came up with a catchy name – Nibbles for Nepal. “We watched some videos of earthquake footage, and they were excited to realize how much they really had learned throughout the course of our unit – vocabulary, processes, and the kind of things that people would have needed to do to prepare for such a catastrophe,” said Gallagher. After researching the top charities involved with earthquake relief, the class decided they would send their donation to Save the Children, an organization that will help get food and supplies to children and their families in Nepal. “I am very proud of the compassion they have shown, as well as their general excitement over spearheading such an effort. It truly was their idea!”
Seventh graders also mobilized. Science teacher Danielle Barschdorf said, “This earthquake tragedy has hit a chord with me.” Her seventh graders have been studying plate tectonics and are starting to learn about earthquakes. They recently watched the documentary film “Everest” about the 1996 disaster, and they have closely studied the Eurasian and Indian plate boundaries that are converging together to continue to change the Himalayas. “I have always loved learning about the region, and it was devastating when I heard about the disaster. I just felt it was really important that we try to raise funds to help out.” They devoted an entire class period to discussing the events and the science behind the fault line and earthquake. They decided to sponsor a dress-down day to raise funds to help the people in Nepal. After a thorough discussion, the students decided that the funds raised will go to Oxfam, an organization increasing its aid in Nepal through providing water, toilets and other relief efforts. “Every little bit helps,” she said.
North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school serving toddlers through twelfth grade students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For additional information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at www.NYA.org.