Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES

Westside Academy Spanish class raises funds while expanding their vocabularies

Comprar, cerrar, construir, aprender, preguntar. These are just a few of the previously-unknown Spanish verbs Westside Academy students were challenged to learn in just four days. It was part of teacher Mark Donnelly’s annual fundraising effort for class-sponsored children Cesia and Dani from Nicaragua, and Noé from Guatemala. The “Action Words” initiative is designed to give students the opportunity to put vocabulary words into real-life action that helps others.

Westside scholars worked hard and surpassed expectations on their vocabulary tests—proving they had learned over 72 percent of the up-to-100 new action words, and raising $144.80 for the Children International organization.

The fundraiser depended not only on the focus and concentration of these dedicated students, but also on the generosity of Westside staff and teachers. They supported the effort with pledges totaling 18 cents per word learned. Donnelly says, “This is a wonderful group of human beings, making a real difference in the lives of our students and of three children we'll never even meet. They are my holiday spirit.” 

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