PALMER — Palmer Elementary students recently used their math skills to earn $1,607.10 to help children with catastrophic diseases.

Twenty-eight students, ages 5-8, in kindergarten through third grade, learned about a Math-A-Thon that would help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Memphis-based facility is an internationally recognized biomedical research center.

“We are very proud of our students for working so hard on the Math-A-Thon,” school principal Lynne Vallejo said. “With their help, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be able to create new treatments that may one day lead to a cure for many forms of cancer. I also want to extend our thanks to the Palmer community for their support of our students.”

The fundraising program includes a DVD, which features the TV character Hannah Montana, as portrayed by Miley Cyrus, talking about St. Jude’s and how doing math problems can serve as a fundraiser to help children. The Math-A-Thon also includes workbooks and supplies.

To participate, students found friends and family to sponsor them for a price-per-problem. They then set out during their spring break holiday to crunch numbers.

According to a press release from the hospital, the fundraiser serves two purposes: students work on their math education and also learn the importance of helping others. The Palmer Elementary students received T-shirts and prizes – and those who raised $35 or more won free Six Flags Theme Park tickets.

Vallejo and Candi Barr, who served as coordinators of the Math-A-Thon at Palmer Elementary, said they were proud of the students for their maturity in completing the project and their dedication to education by spending time on their spring break to complete the math problems.

Participating students included second-grader Savannah Cox, who earned the most money at $373. Also participating were Kristen Gould, Derek Dillon, Angelica Gutierrez, Cole Yarbrough, Grace Derden, Jesse Johnson, Johnathon Stewart, Cody Eubanks, Courtney Santos, Caleb Garrison, Morgan Ward, Jaden Lopez, Harley Babroski, Paten Anglin, Jessey Caldwell, Judy Mikel, Ben Waddle, Marckye Laubach, Austin Zaidle, Jeremy Robinson, Adrian Jaramillo, Kacie Spence, Karina Esquilin, Giovanny Jimenez and John Mabry.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, is supported in its work by the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities, which covers all costs not covered by insurance. Families without insurance are never asked to pay.

“St. Jude fully credits its successes in the treatment of children to the generous support of the students like those at Palmer Elementary School,” a spokesman said.

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