BTU student leads donation drive

April 25, 2014
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With her five-member team seated around her, Boston Teacher Union (BTU) School eighth-grader Anne Jean had nothing but praise for her fellow students for helping her food-and-clothing drive for the nonprofit Cradles to Crayons.

“I think everyone here is a leader. I didn’t want people who were fooling around,” said Jean during an interview with the Gazette and her team at the BTU School, which is located at 25 Walk Hill St.

Jean was selected last fall to participate in the student volunteer organization Project 351, which Gov. Deval Patrick launched several years ago. As part of that, Jean began planning in January a food-and-clothing drive for Cradles to Crayons, an organization that provides essential items to homeless and low-income children.

She was asked to pick a team for the drive and selected fellow eighth-graders Yanisa Lara, Ricardo Rivera Cruz, Maramons Simon, Jennifer Martinez and Eric Tse. They collected more than 30 boxes of clothes and food during the month-long drive.

“It feels good. The people really do need the help,” Lara said about her participation in the drive.

Jean said the team created flyers and went to classes and family council meetings at the school to get the word out about the drive. She said they also made decorative boxes to put the donations in and organized them to get them ready to be shipped to Cradles to Crayons.

“I get pride helping people. I feel like if I was in need, I would want to get help,” said Jean.

Tse said the amount of donations show that the parents of the students care and how involved they are with the school.

Deb Burnett, the teacher at BTU School who oversaw the project, said she is “very proud” of the students.

“I did the verbal. They did the physical. They’ve done a wonderful job,” she said.

Boston Teacher Union School students (from left) Ricardo Rivera Cruz, Eric Tse, Jennifer Martinez, Maramons Simon, Anne Jean and Yanisa Lara stand with their boxed donations. (Gazette Photo by Peter Shanley)

Boston Teacher Union School students (from left) Ricardo Rivera Cruz, Eric Tse, Jennifer Martinez, Maramons Simon, Anne Jean and Yanisa Lara stand with their boxed donations. (Gazette Photo by Peter Shanley)

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