By Tom Gastall
Westport Elementary students met Alan Shawn Feinstein in November 2011. He is a well-known philanthropist from Rhode Island who has dedicated his life to helping others. Mr. Feinstein ad0pted the school and encouraged students and staff to join him in his quest to do good deeds and to reach out to those in need.
The Feinstein Junior Scholars, as the students are referred to, have really risen to the challenge. They have participated in food drives that have seen over 3,500 items collected and donated to the Westport Food Pantry. They have held monthly Hat Day and Crazy Hair Days for numerous charities including CFC Operation Christmas, Providence Journal Children’s Holiday Hope Fund, Breast Cancer Awareness, the Autism Association, Alzheimer’s Awareness, Smiles Mentor Program, and local fire victims.
Individual students raised and donated funds . Allyson Karchner and Angelina Aguiar donated $128 to Children’s Hospital raised by selling bookmarks, bracelets, and necklaces that they made. Lily Gifford and Jesse Skov requested money as birthday gifts which they donated to the Dartmouth Animal Shelter and the Faxon Animal Shelter. Megan Perry, Jessica Carney, and Aidan Viveiros collected for Toys-for-Tots in lieu of presents at their recent joint birthday party. Students in Mrs. Chouinard’s, Mrs. Guild’s, and Mrs. Raposo’s classes also conducted a holiday toy drive last year.
Mr. Feinstein corresponds regularly with students and staff and has provided the school with funds for assemblies to sponsor student attendance at after-school programs and summer camps, and to assist families in times of need. The students, staff, parents, relatives, and friends of the Westport Elementary School are actively engaged in continuing these wonderful endeavors.