Education

Houserville Elementary School students host craft fair, raise proceeds for charity

Fifth graders Nathan Alexander, right, and Will Stewart set up their marshmallow catapults during the craft show on Friday at Houserville Elementary School.
Fifth graders Nathan Alexander, right, and Will Stewart set up their marshmallow catapults during the craft show on Friday at Houserville Elementary School. psheehan@centredaily.com

Nathan Alexander has Type 1 diabetes.

It’s the kind of disease that limits the amount of insulin the pancreas produces, resulting in unbalanced blood sugar levels.

But the fifth-grade student at Houserville Elementary School is doing what he can to help raise awareness and improve the lives of people affected by the disease.

48 fifth-grade students participate in craft fair

On Friday afternoon, Nathan was one of 48 fifth-graders who participated in the annual Arts and Crafts Caring Fair that allowed students to make crafts and sell them.

Money raised goes toward a charity of the students’ choice.

For Nathan, he’s helping benefit the American Diabetes Association.

It’s just something special because I know it’s the kind of organization that can help people like me

Nathan Alexander, 11

“It’s just something special because I know it’s the kind of organization that can help people like me,” he said.

Classmate and partner Will Stewart, 11, also said funds the duo raised will go toward the ALS Association.

They were selling mini catapults made from Popsicle sticks and rubber bands for $2 and $3.

The craft fair was started more than 20 years ago.

It allows fifth-grade students to partake in the making and selling of crafts, but is also open to other Lemont and Houserville elementary school students who want to make a purchase.

About seven years ago, the mission of the craft fair changed to help advocate for community service.

It was started because there was a student desire to make crafts like at an open market in New York (City) or Paris, and what we found over the years was also the desire to give back

Linda Andrews, fifth-grade teacher

“It was started because there was a student desire to make crafts like at an open market in New York or Paris, and what we found over the years was also the desire to give back,” fifth-grade teacher Linda Andrews said.

Librarian Brittany Snavely said each student eligible to have his or her own space were required to bring in a canned good that was then donated to the State College Food Bank.

More than 20 boxes collected for the State College Food Bank

She said a representative from the food bank picked up more than 20 boxes of goods Friday morning.

But perhaps what puts the student’s work into fruition are the notes of appreciation they get back.

“That’s the best part when, in January and February, they’re starting to get thank-you notes,” Andrews said. “We make copies and put them in the symbol of a heart on display.”

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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