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Lead effort to help wildfire victims
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Two Ripon Elementary School sixth graders Jaidyn Holt and Melanye Sanchez — shown with their teacher Susan Taylor — collected $625 for the Paradise fire survivors. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Ripon Elementary School sixth graders Melanye Sanchez and Jaidyn Holt  led the Junior Link Crew effort that raised $625 for the survivors of the Paradise Fire.

The Link Crew Junior is made up of some 20 students from the sixth, seventh and eighth grades and headed by sixth grade teacher Susan Taylor.  Each morning different students anchoring the closed circuit “Arrowhead News” reminded the students watching the news feed of the donation bags placed in their classrooms to support the Paradise families that lost their homes to the recent wild fire.

Students were not the only givers to the Paradise Fire as teachers dropped money into the bags too. The top classroom collected $73. A check was sent to the American Red Cross.  

Holt said she first learned of the horrific fire from pictures her dad showed her of the burned-out community when he was on site with his crane company. 

 “He was there for a day,” she said.  

Sanchez said she and her family saw the news coverage on CNN TV.  

The Arrowhead News closed circuit TV Ripon Elementary feed was developed by teacher Glen White. It is sent out every day to every classroom telling of happenings at the school.

Among the good deeds Holt is doing outside the Ripon Elementary campus is helping with a family Christmas tradition where they sort all their old clothes that they have outgrown,  bag them and take them to school where they are dropped off in a blue collection bin on campus.

She also has saved her money for Christmas and buys toys for the Toys for Tots campaign and drops toys she has bought into every bin she comes across. 

Ripon Elementary Principal Dana Phelps said she is gratified with the work of her Link Crew Junior in caring about others faced with difficult times  and with the leadership of their mentor Susan Taylor. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email