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Staff and students from Milaca Elementary School present a check from the read-a-thon to the Milaca Area Pantry. Pictured from left: Assistant Principal Jeff Meyer, media specialist Mary Jo Vickers, Aubrey Bell, Brooklyn Henley, Samantha Birnbaum and food shelf director Debbie Girard.

Milaca Elementary students raised over $5,000 for the Milaca Area Pantry during a read-a-thon recently.

School officials presented the $5,112 check to the pantry at the end of March. The read-a-thon was a new twist on the school’s annual I Love to Read Month celebration.

Milaca celebrates I Love to Read Month each February, usually with weekly reading challenges. This year they instead held a monthlong contest to read every day. Each student had a goal of so many minutes of reading based on their grade level, according to media specialist Mary Jo Vickers. Students asked their families and friends for sponsorships, which went to the donation.

“We wanted to do something for our local community, and we knew that, you know, the food pantry services a lot of people in our community,” Vickers said.

Students who met their reading goals also were allowed to play bingo, according to Vickers.

“We’re just extremely grateful for the support that we received,” Vickers said. “It was much more than we had anticipated and we’re just very, very grateful.”

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