Shortly after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, the Newark Charter School community decided that we had to do something to help.  Our initial plan was to raise money and donate those funds directly to a charter school in Puerto Rico.  Unfortunately, the amount of devastation and lack of communication made it an impossibility to connect with a charter school in need.  As such, Newark Charter School recently donated $3,207.07 to UNICEF.  However, in an effort to stay connected to the original idea, we requested that the funds could solely be used to help the children of Puerto Rico.

The way the school raised the funds was thoughtful, creative and meaningful.  Rather than just asking families to send money in to school, Newark Charter School developed a “Chores for a Charter Campaign.”  The premise was to teach students, in Kindergarten through 6th grade, that their actions can make a difference when their efforts are matched by others.  To that end, our students entered into “contracts” with their families and pledged to do chores to raise money to support a charter school in Puerto Rico.  While such devastation makes our hearts ache, watching people coming together to help those in need, fills us with hope.  Now when we watch the news and see the people of Puerto Rico putting their lives back together, we are humbled by the work that our students did to help those in need.

Intermediate School principal Jesse Wakeman is proud of the actions of the Newark Charter School students. “So often, problems of the world seem so big.  It would be easy to say that a problem is too big and there is nothing you can do.  However, I believe that the “Chores for a Charter Campaignproved when committed people, even as young as five years old, come together it is possible to make the world a better place,” he said. Nearly 200 Newark Charter School students did chores to earn money for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico including (left to right)  Natalie Kudlick, Babita Bonis,Grant Blackett and Josh Horning.