December 9, 2011
Reagan O'Rourke needs to raise $500 to meet her fundraising goal for her school's Math-A-Thon. She's a fourth grader at Scottsville Elementary, where students are collecting donations for the school fundraiser with all of the proceeds going to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"I know they use the money to help people who need it," O'Rourke said. And her little sister was one of those people. Emma O'Rourke was diagnosed with kidney cancer when she was two years old, and sought treatment at St. Jude.
Scottsville Elementary has been holding the Math-A-Thon for 12 years. It's one of thousands of schools around the country taking part in the K-8 education-based program benefiting St. Jude.
But teachers at Scottsville have added a twist. Instead of taking home a math workbook to do on their own, students will spend the evening at the school doing math problems, playing games and spending the night in the school gymnasium.
Tom Green, a fourth grade teacher at Scottsville, says the sleepover and Math-A-Thon is a great way to education students. "We talk to the kids about cancer and about how difficult it is to be family that has to deal with childhood cancer. They really get a feeling that they are helping," he said.
Emma O'Rourke is now a kindergartner at Scottsville. She's in remission and still goes to St. Jude once a year for treatment. He family says participating in the Math-A-Thon is the least they can do to show their appreciation for everything St. Jude has done for their family.
"We're just very grateful they were there and that they do the work that they do. We're glad St. Jude has gained the ground that they have gained in the fight against cancer," said Katie O'Rourke, mother to Emma and Reagan. "We hope that someday they find the cure and that no family and no child will ever be diagnosed with cancer."
Until that day, students and teachers at Scottsville Elementary say they will continue holding the Math-A-Thon each year, with the hope of solving a lot more than a math problem.
In the 12 years of the Scottsville Math-A-Thon, students and staff have raised more than $27,000. The school is hoping to raise $4,000 this year, alone. For information on how you can donate, click here.
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