Kelly School second grader Jane Rust wanted to bring awareness to diabetes and raise funds for Joslin Diabetes Pediatrics while involving her classmates in the project.
After receiving permission from Kelley principal, Dr. Timothy Howard, the 8-year-old started planning for a school project in which her classmates could wear blue instead of the traditional Kelly School uniform.
“I told my classmates that they could wear blue as long as they donated one dollar – and we did it at my brother Lucas’s school, too,” said Jane, who has Type 1 Diabetes.
Jane’s one-day fundraiser was a huge success. Last Friday Jane and her mother, Nanda, traveled to the Joslin Diabetes Center where they presented a check to officials for more than $700.
The mother-daughter duo did an excellent job of recruiting for the fundraiser, making a presentation in front of two classes of students.
“A lot of the students came to my classroom and I set up a table and put all my stuff on it and I showed them how it works,” said Jane. “We have a game where each student stands up and says something about themselves. And then they said, ‘Stand up if you’re diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes’ and I stood up.
“The point was that everyone is different,” Jane explained.
Jane said she was grateful to her classmates for supporting the fundraiser. She showed her appreciation to them by giving away blue trinkets such as pencils and erasers. Jane’s big message to her classmates was, “Whenever you see or use this blue item, we want you to remember that everybody’s different but life is beautiful because of those differences and you’ll remember what you learned today about diabetes and to be nice to one another.”
Nanda Rust expressed her gratitude to the school administration for jumping on board and supporting her daughter’s fundraising endeavor.
“When we approached the school about it, I was apprehensive because it’s an entire school and there are 500 children. I asked Dr. Howard if he would consider allowing the children to wear blue instead of the uniform, and he said ‘I sure would.’ “He was wonderful.”
Jane has been recognized for her efforts at the Kelley School as a recipient of the monthly Gritty Award for showing teamwork, responsibility, integrity, and honesty. She also received the award during the last school year.
Jane said she enjoys each day at the Kelley School and “I like the principal very much.”
Nanda Rust added that Jane’s whole campaign reaffirmed her respect and admiration for Chelsea people and their welcoming spirit.
“We feel fortunate to live in the community that we do,” said Nanda. “We’re surrounded by love from the school, our friends, and our community. We’re very lucky and very happy to be residents of Chelsea.”