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A boy looks at the ruins of his neighborhood in Haiti. A boy looks at the ruins of his neighborhood in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. Much of the city remains in rubble after last year's earthquake. (Matthew Bigg / Reuters)

Helping Haiti, One Year Later

After last year’s devastating earthquake, students and teachers at one school pitch in to assist the people of Haiti

By Mary Harvey | null null , null
<br /><strong>TOP:</strong> Sixth graders Jamaica Scott and Patricia Joyner at the Ronald Edmonds Learning Center.<br /><br /><strong>BOTTOM:</strong> Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, was badly damaged by last year's earthquake.<br /><br />(Mary Harvey / Jim McMahon)

TOP: Sixth graders Jamaica Scott and Patricia Joyner at the Ronald Edmonds Learning Center.

BOTTOM: Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, was badly damaged by last year's earthquake.

(Mary Harvey / Jim McMahon)

One year ago—on January 12, 2010—a powerful earthquake struck Haiti, killing as many as 250,000 people. Students across America watched the news with sadness and shock. Since then, many young people have been doing their best to help.

There are more than 830,000 people in America who come from Haiti, and more than 100,000 live in New York City alone. At the Ronald Edmonds Learning Center (RELC), a school in New York City, many students have cousins, grandparents, and other relatives who still live in Haiti.

Students at RELC wanted to help, so school officials organized events to collect money and supplies that could be sent to people in Haiti. They collected lots of clothing and canned food. Many students and teachers brought in pennies to donate to a "Penny Harvest." They collected a total of $400. That's a lot of pennies!

The school's programs inspired students to find their own ways to help. In the year since the earthquake, RELC sixth-grader Patricia Joyner and her older sister have donated clothes, shoes, and food to the Salvation Army, which has been helping with the Haiti relief effort. Patricia, 11, also helped a classmate who is from Haiti.

"Some of his relatives died," she explains. "He said that his mother and father were very sad about it, so they donated [to Haiti]. He asked me to help him, so I brought him canned foods." His father and older brother then sent the food Patricia donated to people they knew in Haiti.


One year after the disaster, students at RELC are still paying close attention to news reports about Haiti's recovery.

"On the news, they said a lot of [supplies] have been shipped to Haiti, but places there are still destroyed," says sixth-grader Jamaica Scott, 11. "They showed how in Haiti [buildings] are still not rebuilt."

After the earthquake, organizations around the world raised or pledged more than $1.4 billion in aid for Haiti. Much has been spent to provide food, water, clothing, medical supplies, and tents and tarps for temporary shelter.

In October, a deadly disease called cholera broke out in Haiti. People get cholera mainly by drinking unclean water, and the disease is spreading rapidly in the country. So far, more than 3,600 people have died from the disease and at least 170,000 have been infected.

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