Fourth-graders' project to help Puerto Rico gets national attention

TERRACE PARK, Ohio -- Fourth graders at Terrace Park Elementary School will receive national recognition this week for their efforts to help students in hurricane-affected Puerto Rico.

Charlotte Buccholz's class is working with Destination Imagination, a nonprofit that challenges young people to explore their talents in fields including tech, science, engineering and community service. 

"We had a bunch of different ideas on how to do things and then we had to all agree on something," 9-year-old Buccholz said. 

They ultimately decided they wanted to focus on service -- specifically service to the people affected by Hurricane Maria.

"We were thinking about people who weren't getting much attention, and so we thought about Puerto Rico because it wasn't getting much help," student Tyler Graham said.

Graham, Buccholz and their classmates created and sold clay 'Te Amo' ornaments to benefit The Juanita Garcia Peraza School in San Juan, eventually raising nearly $1,500. They used the money to buy school supplies and other essential items for third-graders on the island.

It's a simple idea with a big impact, and it caught the attention of Destination Imagination organizers. The fourth-graders will present their project at the nonprofit's global finals this week.

"We wanted to help the kids because we wouldn't want to be in that position," student Saura Patel said.

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