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Young students band together for St. Jude


No matter how you do the math, the St. Jude Math-A-Thon™ program at a New York school adds up to success.

The students of William Spyropoulos Greek-American School of St. Nicholas in Flushing, New York, raised more than $30,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with the education-based fundraising program this year.

“We have a really great group of parents who are always interested in doing something positive with the students,” said Youla Tavantzis, the teacher who coordinated the school's St. Jude Math-A-Thon.


For more than 35 years, the St. Jude Math-A-Thon has been America’s largest education-based fundraiser. To participate, kids in grades K-8 ask family and friends for pledges to solve math problems in the St. Jude Math-A-Thon Funbook, developed by the educational publisher, Scholastic Corporation. The program has raised more than $450 million since its inception.

For their most recent St. Jude Math-A-Thon, William Spyropoulos included grades K-8, rather than just kindergarten through fifth grades, and had the students work in groups to complete the Funbook in their classrooms. As an additional incentive, students who raised at least $35 earned a dress-down day to wear blue jeans and a St. Jude T-shirt.

About 90 percent of the 480 students reached that goal. “Every time we give a dress-down day as an incentive, we say it is going to be a day where we feel the school spirit of the thing we have done together as a group,” Tavantzis said. 

Because William Spyropoulos is a parochial school, Tavantzis was able to incorporate faith into her talks with her students about St. Jude’s lifesaving mission.

“I was always able to talk about St. Jude, and how we can pray and raise money in hopes that they find a cure,” she said.

Learn more about the St. Jude Math-A-Thon program, and how you can be a part of it.

You too can make a difference for St. Jude kids.

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