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Way to Go!: Santi Pérez, Valley Stream

Santi Pérez organized hurricane-relief efforts at his school.

Santi Pérez organized hurricane-relief efforts at his school. Photo Credit: Valley Stream School District

A Valley Stream fourth-grader initiated school fundraisers that brought in more than $1,800 for victims of Hurricane Maria.

Santi Pérez, 9, who attends Shaw Avenue Elementary School, approached administrators after hearing about the plight of people in Puerto Rico from the storm that struck the island on Sept. 20. The school launched three fundraisers, with proceeds going to Unidos for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

The efforts included a “hat day,” with students and staff donating a dollar to wear their favorite hat to school for a day, and a spare-change collection in which kids filled a fish tank with dollar bills and coins.

“I was really surprised. I didn’t think we would raise that much money,” Santi said. “I wanted to do this because all of their houses are flooding, they don’t have any food, and they are not receiving the resources that they need.”

In the third fundraiser — “Get Your Principals Stuck for a Buck” — students donated a dollar for a piece of tape they could use to stick Principal Alejandro Rivera or Assistant Principal Christopher Colarossi to the gymnasium wall.

“He’s definitely one who’s always thinking outside the box,” Rivera said of Santi. “He’s a fine young student and an upstander.”

Santi is a member of the Student Council and Zumba Club.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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