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School's Penny-A-Page campaign serves dual purpose

November 14, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

CLEAR SPRING - For Jennifer Manuel, the Penny-A-Page reading campaign at Clear Spring Middle School was mostly just another good reason for her to pursue her love of reading.

But when it was concluded, the effort had raised $761.20 for the Humane Society of Washington County and promoted reading for the students at the middle school.

Paul Miller, executive director of the shelter, recently traveled to the school along with Katherine Cooker, manager of development and community relations at the shelter, to accept the check from the students.

Miller and Jennifer appeared together on the school's closed circuit television at the start of that school day.

"Was it fun?" Miller asked Jennifer. "Do you like reading?

Jennifer, 12, a seventh-grader, answered that reading is her favorite activity.

"This was the first time I have done this and I received $122 in pledges," she said.

As it turned out, that was the highest amount of pledges among the 82 students who participated.

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Principal Jeremy Jakoby thanked Jennifer and the other students for their dedication.

Miller also praised all of the readers and thanked them for their participation and choice of the shelter as the recipient of the funds.

The read-a-thon was the brainchild of Betty Walter, media specialist, and Diane Cree, student achievement specialist.

The effort this year was combined with Character Counts Week.

"This was the first time we've done Penny-A-Page," Cree said.

The student body voted on five possible recipients for the proceeds and the humane society was the top choice.

Jennifer said she has been reading since kindergarten and is particularly fond of the "Lemony Snicket" book series. "They are mysterious and have lots of different people to read about."

For this drive, Jennifer read one entire "Lemony Snicket" book which had about 250 pages. "If they do this again, I'm in," she said.

Jennifer is the daughter of Katie Manuel. She has one older brother.

"Jennifer has two cats from the humane society so she has a special place in her heart," Walter said.

Miller said other schools have projects that benefit the humane society and he's glad to see youngsters interested in the welfare of animals.

"Around Christmas, we get treats from schools, Scout groups and birthday parties," Miller said. "We once had a wedding where there were no gifts - all the funds came to us."

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