La Jolla students’ project helps children in Haiti

By Rachel Lichterman

Scripps Health

La Jolla Elementary School students aim to make a difference in the lives of others through their monthly community service projects.

“The goal is to teach our children that part of being a good person is doing good for others. Even at a young age, children can help in their local community and, in this case, the world,” said Donna Tripi, the school’s principal.

Earlier this year, they raised $550 by selling packs of handmade valentine’s cards to each other, with the proceeds going to children of Haiti who are still suffering after the earthquake that struck their country.

“I felt that we had to do something to help the people in Haiti,” said Cynthia Kronemyer, parent of third grade twins at La Jolla Elementary and volunteer coordinator of the La Jolla Elementary Service Learning Program. “After reading an article in the local newspaper about Scripps’ mission in Haiti, I knew that they would ensure our donation would go to good use.”

On April 23, during an outdoor school assembly, the student council presented their donation to Scripps Health President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Van Gorder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brent Eastman, both of whom had served two week-long missions caring for victims in Haiti.

Sophia Acker, student council president, presented the donation.

“Thank you for all that you do in the community. We would like to give you this donation so Scripps can continue to help the children in Haiti.”

After the assembly, Van Gorder and Eastman invited third- through fifth-graders to the auditorium to learn about the life-saving care Scripps’ medical teams were providing. They also told students how their donation would be used to buy more medical supplies, food and other materials for the children at St. Francois de Sales Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

“I want to thank the students at La Jolla Elementary School for their donation. Their generosity and genuine interest in helping others, from across the world, is truly impressive,” said Van Gorder. “Their donation will be able to help many children get the medical care and basic supplies they need.”