Class Act: Students at Excel Academy Orient Heights run road race to benefit homeless families, children

EAST BOSTON (WHDH) - The 6th grade Mavericks at Excel Academy Orient Heights in East Boston, are pumped up!

“I’m really proud,” said Makaylah Foreman McKnight.

“A lot of people benefit from this,” said Rabab Benjdiya.

On this day, they are running a 5k road race to benefit homeless families and children – and the entire school is involved.

“It feels really nice to be helping them,” said Isabell Roman.

For months, the 6th grade at Excel Academy Orient Heights thought of ways to help their community.  And they settled on raising funds to help support the Crossroads Family Center in East Boston.

“Crossroads is an emergency shelter for families in Boston, who either lose their housing or need to leave their housing,” said Betsy Kellander a 6th grade English teacher.

They raised money for their 5k through dress-down days, and asking family, friends and neighbors for pledges.  The whole school raised money and ran.

Which makes these kids feel—”Pretty great, because we know we’re helping people in need,” said Tizziano Areniello.

“It’s all very exciting, because I know I’m doing this all for a good cause,” said Rabab Benjdiya.

“Our 6th graders are incredibly passionate, and so touching because many of our 6th graders aren’t coming from really wealthy backgrounds themselves, but they recognize that there are people who have it worse than them,” said Ms. Kellander.

Thinking about those families in need, gave them wings on their feet—”I think that motivates everyone to start running,” said Makaylah.

“Yeah, and to keep going because it’s for them, and not for me,” said Tizziano.

All told they raised more than $1800 for Crossroads- and the staff and families there are grateful—”It’s incredible, the money they raised has a huge impact on our families,” said Rachael Hennessey-Crowell, Director of Crossroads.

“In my mind I knew I was helping, and I should do this because they need support,” said Christian Aerazo.

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