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READ-A-THON: Students Help Classmate In Need

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A class of Pella third graders is getting a special lesson in what it means to be thankful.

Over the summer Caden Verhoef's family suffered a big loss when a fire destroyed their home and most of their possesions. Little Caden kept coming to school with a great attitude and was grateful for his classmates.

“ I think Caden is such a sweet boy, I’m glad he is in my class,” Ashley Uitermarkt told Channel 13.

Caden’s positive attitude inspired his classmates to do something to help him. In October they began a Read-A–Thon, collecting pledges to help Caden's mom replace some of his toys.

Teacher Scott Treft said it was a great lesson for his students. “Every day at the end of the day we talk about what they could do at home to make themselves a better student, and every day someone would say, ‘I'm reading for Caden tonight-- I'm reading for Caden tonight.’”

Third Grader Anna Vanderwaall said it best, “You don't have to be old to make a difference you can be young too.”

 And that's exactly what the class did, Mr. Treft hoped the class would raise about $100, but they ended up raising $700 for Caden.

His mom Tena says the family was moved to tears by how much the class was able to raise. The family is still working to rebuild their home; recently the process has hit a standstill.

With the money raised, Caden is hoping to get some new Thomas Trains for Christmas.