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Brownville-Glen Park Elementary students seek to Leave a Legacy

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BROWNVILLE — Students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade at Brownville-Glen Park Elementary know community service.

Not only is being involved in their community a part of the General Brown Central School District’s overall strategic plan, it’s also a way for Brownville-Glen Park students to honor north country people and organizations.

Principal Joseph R. O’Donnell said that this year, the school formed Leave a Legacy, a program in which the sixth-grade class each year would leave its mark by selecting a community group to support with funds the whole school raised during a walk.

“It started with parents and the Parent Teacher Organization and the success of it last year in terms of financial and kids giving back,” he said. “We found our niche here in how to give back to the community.”

In a similar event last year, Brownville-Glen Park students, with the help of community members, raised $9,200 for breast cancer research. That walk was in honor of Barbara R. Moran, a Brownville-Glen Park physical education teacher who retired in April 2011 after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died in February.

This year, students raised $3,221 for the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division Inc. Funds will be used to help purchase backpacks containing a plush bathrobe, T-shirt, football jersey and hat, all with 10th Mountain Division logos and references on them, to wounded soldiers at various military hospitals. Gil Pearsall, secretary of the association, said he felt honored that Brownville-Glen Park students chose the association to receive the money raised.

Mr. O’Donnell said students raised money and then walked inside and outside of the building Friday, before the cash was presented to Mr. Pearsall in a school-wide assembly.

Mr. O’Donnell noted that the district’s military population has grown over the past few years, which could explain the students’ decision to aid wounded warriors.

“It’s also the relevance of being around it,” he said. “Growing up in the time I did, we didn’t see armed conflict. Kids now do. We didn’t see wounded warriors as much. This hits home.”

Leave a Legacy will be held in part by the Brownville-Glen Park Parent-Teacher Organization. Its treasurer, S. Niki Krenzel, said it was refreshing to see children support wounded warriors and the military.

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