Manhattan students make a difference with art

May 18, 2011 2:34:44 PM PDT
The earthquake in Japan has impacted people around the world of all ages.

Some local students decided to put their art talents to good use.

Students at Manhattan East Middle School, based on a yearly school commitment for community service, decided to raise money for victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

Members of a Japan-based charity shared photos and information with the students, who are especially concerned for Japanese children.

"They suffered through a really bad time, through the earthquake and I know they lost most of their things and maybe they lost family members, and I feel for them," Michelle Rodriguez said.

The kids raised more than 16-hundred dollars, more than tripling their fundraising goal.

"We had a 6th grade student, first week, brought in over 200 dollars that she collected going around her building, and I think that really inspired the rest of the school because all of a sudden the rest of the money just started pouring in," teacher Lauren Heinsohn said.

The drawings were part of a Manhattan exhibit, which also features drawings by students in Japan expressing their reactions to the damage in their homeland and photos of the aftermath of the disasters.

The kids at Manhattan East have posted their fundraising success on a school bulletin board. Their contribution will be forwarded to the Japanese Red Cross.