Traverse City Record-Eagle

Feature Columnists

April 28, 2014

Northern Notes: Students from St. Francis, Benzie give back

Twenty-three St. Francis High School students visited Noah’s Ark, Alphabet Soup and the YMCA child care centers to read to children and distribute a free book and book mark to each child. The book featured Clifford the Big Red Dog in “Clifford’s Good Deeds,” while the bookmark offered suggestions for parents on reading aloud to their children at home.

The outreach, titled “Annette’s Reading Angels,” highlighted the importance of reading to very young children. It is named in memory of Annette Plamondon, a Holy Angels Elementary School teacher/tutor, whose passion was helping children learn to read. Annette died in 2013 and volunteers who wanted to honor her legacy raised money to purchase the books by holding a “Bunko for Books” party this past winter.

Several of the participating students are former students of Annette and fondly remember her devotion to reading. Many of the students also credited being read to by their parents as critical to their current success in school.

“My dad used to read me his medical journals,” said St. Francis junior Jack Krcmarik. “The ability to read well transcends all subjects from math story problems to science lab descriptions.”

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The Benzie Central Middle School Student Council delivered 944 pounds of food to Benzie Area Christian Neighbors in January, completing a chain of events that started in November 2013.

Early in November, the student council discussed possible activities for the last day of school before Christmas break. They decided to give gifts to some students, but the question of which students arose. This led to the idea of holding a raffle for the gifts. The student council didn’t want to charge money for the tickets, but they also wanted a way to contribute to the larger Benzie community. This led to the idea of “charging” one food item for each raffle ticket and donating the collected food to the BACN food pantry.

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