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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Encino

Students Raise Funds for Kosovar Children

April 29, 1999|ART MARROQUIN

As Kosovar refugees continue to flee their homeland, students at Valley Beth Shalom Day School are doing their part to help younger victims.

The school launched its "Relief for the Crisis in Kosovo" campaign last week, raising money to buy oral hydration salts for children in war-torn Kosovo.

When added with water, the hydration salts supply the needed amount of liquid, vitamins and nutrients for a child's survival.

The students already have raised more than $1,500, tripling the original goal of $500.

"I'm shocked by the tremendous response," said Pamela Goldman, second-grade teacher and coordinator of the aid program. "We wanted to help the children over there because a huge amount are dying from dehydration."

Goldman searched various Internet sites to see what was needed. The biggest request from relief organizations was for hydration salts, which cost about 5 cents per package. About eight servings per day of the salt tabs are needed to keep a child alive, Goldman said.

"We're children, and we just want to help other children," said sixth-grader Dana Sturker, 11. "We all know that kids can't live long without food."

Although the monetary donations are intended to come from students at the private school, parents have contributed much of the cash collected. Donations have ranged from a quarter to $20 checks.

Children at the school said they were horrified at the thought of starvation and losing their parents to war.

"This is like a second Holocaust, and we can't let it happen again," said fifth-grader Karin Alpert, 11. "We need to help the children survive."

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