Barrington students know how to help others

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Barrington Middle School students know how to help others.

In the last few years, boys and girls at the school have collected canned goods for a nearby food pantry, raised money to purchase mosquito nets for people in Haiti, donated winter clothes and toiletries for the less fortunate, and this year they assembled snack bags for homeless people in Providence.

Students in the school's community service club recently completed the project by donating approximately 300 snack bags to the Amos House in Providence where they will be distributed to local homeless people. Maura Fay and Jennifer Sapolsky, parents of local students, came up with the idea.

Barrington Middle School teacher Connie Oswald said the club is already working on its next project — toiletry kits for the less fortunate.

"We could use both trial size and regular size items such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes and razors," Ms. Oswald wrote in a recent email. "This appeal could be effective with people in town who travel a good bit and collect trial-sized shampoo, soap, etc. from hotels."

Residents are asked to drop off any collected toiletry items at the middle school office later this month.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.