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      East Jordan students cross equator to help struggling schools

      N orthern Michigan students raised $81,000 to help out children in one of South America's poorest countries.

      N orthern Michigan students raised $81,000 to help out children in one of South America's poorest countries.

      T hese funds helped send 26 East Jordan High School seniors to Peru to hand deliver thousands of dollars worth of school supplies to kids in need.

      "T hey have so little and whatever we can do is huge in their eyes ," EJHS senior Ryan Schroeder said.

      E ach Peruvian child had a big smile on their face when a group of American visitors arrived on campus.

      " It's one thing to raise money and send these books off," EJHS senior McKenna Steltzner said. "You have no idea what these children look like, but for them to come up to you in a hug you and they are like thank you for this stuff and to see their reaction was just amazing."

      O ver the last year , students from every grade in East Jordan Schools have been raising money to help pay for the trip.

      " A lot of people said there's no way you can't send that many kids , you can't raise that much money ," East Jordan Elementary School teacher Kwin Morris said. "Thi s just proved that once you set your mind to something you can accomplish it."

      A fter numerous fundraisers and a few generous donations , they had $81,000 thousand dollars.

      A nd that brings us to the end of June, when 26 East Jordan seniors landed in Peru to hand delivered $15,000 in books, supplies, and games.

      " As soon as they got the books they started flipping through the pages , t hey just wanted to be focused on those books and nothing else mattered ," EJHS senior Alex Moses said.

      T his group of students visited three schools and an orphanage. B ut there was one stop that stood out , a place nestled deep in the Andes Mountains known as the "Forgotten Village."

      " They don't get any outside help it's 2 1/2 hours to the nearest town," Morris explained. "They've never had visitors, other schools around them I guess have had visitors and they just hadn't because it's so hard to get to them."

      E ast Jordan students definitely made their mark on the "Forgotten Village." Local leaders in Peru said that June 26th, they day they visited, will forever be a national holiday.