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First Grade Class at P.S. 290 Holds Fair Trade Sale to Raise Money to End Child Labor


June 16, 2011 - NEW YORK, NY

First graders at Manhattan New School (P.S. 290) at 311 East 82nd Street will hold a Fair Trade sale on June 20, 2011 to raise money for the National Labor Committee, a non-profit organization working to end child labor around the world.

Teacher Paula Rogovin, who spearheaded the sale with her first grade class, said the idea came from a lesson on how chocolate was made. "The children learned that much of the cacao used in chocolate was made in farms where there is child labor, where workers are sprayed with toxic pesticides and where there are no schools."

Rogovin said her class also learned that some farms practice Fair Trade and in those farms cacao is made by adults and children go to school. "We did lots of research about Fair Trade and my class wanted to have this sale to raise awareness among children in our school and our community about how Fair Trade helps end child labor."

Jay Gurewitsch, owner of Arcadia, a gift store and spa in Chelsea specializing in unique, sustainable Fair Trade items, said, "Our hope is that as these kids grow and learn more about the world they live in they can become a force for positive change. Today's first graders are tomorrow's conscious consumers."

Jacob Sherman, vice-president at EthoShopper, which specializes in Fair Trade hand-made crafts, said: "It's critical to teach our children to care about the world and to show that their decisions can make a difference. Fair Trade turns an ordinary purchase into a global education."

Six-year-old Sophie Livingstone, a student in Rogovin's class, said, "We want to help with our Fair Trade sale. I'm a kid and I think all kids should be able to go to school."

Companies that have donated include: A Matter of Health, Alaffia Arcadia, Barkwheats, Ben & Jerry's, Coco-Zen, Dirty Beauty, Divine Chocolate, Dr. Bronner's, Equal Exchange, EthoShopper, Fairway Market, Fresh Direct, Green Mountain Coffee, Handmade expressions, Kono, Melitta, Pirate's Booty, Rishi Tea, Starbucks, Sustainable NYC, Sweet Earth Chocolates, Trader Joe's, Travel Chocolate and Wholesome Sweeteners.

The sale will take place all day for students and will be open to the public from 8am-8:30am and from 2:15pm-3:00pm.

Media Contact:
Mary Chung
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