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Students in Island Park raised $11,195.28 for a local veteran

ISLAND PARK, Idaho (KIFI) - $11,195.28 is the amount Island Park Charter Elementary School students were able to raise to help out a local veteran in Island Park. The money was raised through a month-long Read-A-Thon that took place throughout February.

Students shared they had fun doing the fundraiser.

"Really fun, I was reading my weird school. It's mostly about this kid named A.J. and he doesn't like school. And the teachers are trying to get him to, like, school," second grader Charles said.

"Super fun doing the read-a-thon, because I had this book that I really liked. And was like about that, like Yellowstone when the Wolves got shot a lot and then they like, bring them back. And then there's other animals in the forest," third grader McKenna said.

"It was kind of like a mystery and or the coconut face or something. I forgot, but it was a really short story and it was about, you know, people losing things. And there is a chief who is of the tranquilizer losing and his doing that was losing the most things. And so there are two people, two boys that were trying to figure out who is safe. And in the end, it turns out it was one of the boy's monkey. And so it really funny story," fourth grader Avery said.

All of the money raised is going to Patrick Shaw, an Army veteran who lives in Island Park and struggles with ALS. The money will be able to pay off more than half of the money he has left on his accessible vehicle.

"It shows these kids can do anything they want. So very proud of them. It's going towards my Yukon to pay off. It's going to help me and my family help with financial needs," Shaw said.

Shaw added he was not expecting the kids to be able to raise so much money.

"I'm blown away by the work they've done, and it's been crazy them, helping me is a blessing. Helps them out. It helps me out," Shaw said.

The kids shared that they loved being able to help Patrick out.

"I wanted to do it Because I wanted to help Patrick and if somebody else needs help, I'll help them, too," Charles said.

"Patrick is very nice and easy. I just love how he tells us like to move on and have fun in our life and have a bright future," McKenna said.

"I loved reading the stories and I liked doing something nice for Patrick," Avery said.

Their teacher and the Charter School's director Connie Day expressed her pride in the things her students have accomplished.

"For how much they were able to raise to help him out. You know, we always have fundraisers and things for the school, and the school needs money for various things. But I want to teach the children that we have to look beyond our own needs. We need to see what else is out there and who in our community has needs. And we love Patrick. The kids love him," Day said.

Throughout February, parents would send Day videos of the kids reading which she would pass along to Patrick. Some of the kids may have been initially reluctant readers, but because they love Patrick, they dove into the books and some even were able to read chapter books for the first time.

"A couple of kids that even became readers from our pre-K, that became readers during the read-a-thon. And the kid's reading scores have gone up a lot, too, because they're reading every night and helping out our friend," Day said.

Day shared they were shocked to raise so much money and learned the phrase "off the charts" as their chart to keep track of progress ran out of room for the students to color in.

Patrick said he is absolutely grateful for these kids and proud of them as well.

"I just want to give a big shout-out to the charter school and all the kids for making this possible for me and my family. So thank you guys," Shaw said.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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