2007-05-03 / News

Giant yard sale teaching students about giving

By Donna K. Drago

The School Improvement Team at the Melrose Avenue School is putting on such a big yard sale they are calling it an "Extravaganza."

The yard sale will serve multiple purposes, while offering great bargains to buyers on May 12, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Proceeds will go to help defray medical costs incurred by the family of 10-year-old Payton Watson, who is being treated for leukemia. Payton, a North Kingstown resident, is the daughter of Sgt. Frank Watson of the Jamestown Police Department and Elizabeth Goode Watson, both native Jamestowners.

Organizer Nora Santamour, a member of the SIT said that the yard sale is this year's service learning project for Melrose school students.

Last year, the topic was hunger and the students collected items for the Rhode Island Food Bank. This year the project is about "community giving," Santamour said.

She explained that students attended an assembly at the school this week to learn about Payton and her families' needs. Then the students are being encouraged to go home and find items they want to pledge to the sale to help Payton and her family, Santamour said.

Jamestown school principal Kathy Almanzor said that with each service learning project, "the kids are involved in all phases." She said that there are even academic components to having a yard sale, and explained that there is some math involved in pricing and categorizing yard sale items.

Beginning May 7 and during all school hours next week, Santamour said, the school is accepting donated items from members of the community. For those that work during the day, there will be a drop off evening on Thursday, May 10, from 6 to 8 p.m.

"We are asking people to empty their attics and closets," Santamour said.

On the day of the sale, students and parent volunteers will man the various yard sale sections. Each grade will have a category, like baby items or sporting goods to sell.

To further the service learning component for students, Santamour said that each classroom will do a session on cleaning, organizing or pricing prior to the sale.

Santamour said furniture, lawn and garden items, toys, and other items are needed for the sale.

"My goal is to have a room full of great items at 8 a.m. and an empty room at noon," Santamour said.

In addition to the yard sale, there will be raffles for both children and adults.

The children's raffle will offer kids a chance to purchase "special time," with the teacher of their choice. For just 50-cents a ticket, kids can take a chance on "tea time with Miss Jane," or "a tennis lesson from another teacher," which will occur outside school hours.

For adults, raffle tickets are six for $5 and include spa services, restaurant gift certificates, and shopping certificates for local businesses. "We have so many wonderful items that have been donated," by area merchants, Santamour said.

There will also be a bake sale, sponsored by the PTO.

Baked goods of all sorts can be dropped off at the Melrose school the night before the event or prior to 8:30 a.m. on the morning of the sale. "We need cookies, brownies, cakes and pies," said Wendy Rafferty. Call her for bake sale information at 423-8080.

The sale will be in the Melrose multi-purpose room. Call Santamour at 423-3822 or Sally Schott at 423-2388 for more information.

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