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Naperville’s Highlands School holds school supplies drive for Haiti

The student activity board of Highlands Elementary School in Naperville recently held a school supply drive for Center d’Etudes Lumière School in Mariani, Haiti.

This was Highlands School’s third annual school supplies drive for the Haitian school. The leaders of this drive were fourth- and fifth-graders who feel passionately about helping children in this poverty-stricken country.

“The mission of Highlands SAB is to make our school and greater Naperville community a better place through drives, student-led programs, and community service. More than just a service organization, SAB strives to develop the leadership skills of all members.”

The adult leaders of SAB are Anna Eriksen and Taylor Cruz.

To inform students about the need for school supplies in Haiti, Sue Sheehan and Nicole Waite, president of Haiti Scholars, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Naperville, spoke with members and staff of the SAB. They presented photos of the students and the dire conditions of the school in Mariani. Fourth and fifth graders then made posters to display around Highlands and made daily announcements about the drive to raise awareness for the entire student body.

One student said, “What we’re doing here is really important. Everyone in Haiti is living in a hot climate. Living conditions are sub-optimal. They don’t have access to school supplies. There is a shortage of pencils. We have so many pencils here! They are falling out of my desk. They are lucky if they have two. I just feel like we can give so much to them.”

Other comments by Highlands’ students include: “Bringing life to Haiti. Everybody here has everything they need. Everybody there still needs stuff we have.”

“I feel like this helps out. They don’t have a lot there. They need more than what they have. I think it’s really good that the people donated.”

A Highlands teacher commented, “Having the SAB involved in this stretches our community involvement. The students realize that this is bigger than just doing something for our school or our community.”

After the drive, the students at Highlands helped to pack up supplies to ship to Haiti. Haiti Scholars volunteers will ship school supplies to Haiti in barrels, which can sometimes take up to five months to arrive. When the barrels arrive, there is great excitement! Thank you to the Highlands School community and Highlands School Student Activity Board for your donations and your hard work! You are making a difference in the lives of so many children in Haiti!

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