Memorial School students find connections to Ukraine


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OLD BRIDGE – Students at Memorial Elementary School wanted to help families in need. After some brainstorming they decided their efforts would best be placed in helping the families of Ukraine. The school and Ukraine share colors after all, so why not spread some blue and yellow pride?
The students decided to use buttons for their fundraising canvas, which their peers and teachers could use to show their support right on their outfit or book bag.
The students used hearts to symbolize love and peace signs to show hope for world peace. They incorporated the Memorial School husky mascot with paw prints backed by the Ukrainian flag, symbolizing the school standing with the people suffering there.
    The students behind Button Buddies have challenges of their own. Learning, language, sensory, and physical challenges make everyday school activities a little harder than they are for most. Often, difficulties in these areas lead to issues with self-esteem.
    “This project has been more than we could have ever asked for,” said teacher Jennifer Hagan. “Our students are now displaying confidence, showing growth using money skills, self- management skills, communication skills and overall are beaming with pride because they are helping others. As teachers, watching the project develop over time and seeing our students in action thriving is beyond words.”
    The students assemble, sort and sell the buttons, which will be sold for $2 each Tuesday and Thursday during April and May.
Their original goal was to raise $100, but the first batch quickly sold out, as has every batch since.
    “This project has given our students the ability to showcase their talents and skills they have learned throughout this school year,” said teacher Karen Desiderio. “Students created a flier to advertise the sale and displayed them throughout the halls of Memorial School. Every student has been given the opportunity to make school wide announcements about their buttons by using the PA system. They have also made announcements using the microphone in the cafeteria. This might seem like an easy task for a typical individual however for our students this is a huge accomplishment.”
    “Our kids are the epitome of ‘you can do anything you put your mind to.’ Memorial School sends Ukraine peace, love, happiness, strength, and Buttons for Buddies,” Hagan said.
The group has raised over $1,000 so far.
Buttons were sold at the April 12 Board of Education agenda meeting and will be sold at the April 28 Board of Education regular meeting.
They will also be taking their Button Buddy show on the road to Glenn Elementary School in the coming days.
To donate to Button Buddies, contact Hagan at or Desiderio at
* This information was provided by the Old Bridge Public School District.

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