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Photo provided: Chloe Strang packages supplies to give to children attending a school in a village in Nicaragua through her program Krayons 4 Kids

By Jessica Soule / Skaneateles JournalPosted Monday, February 22, 2010

SKANEATELES - One 11-year-old is leaving her mark on the world in crayon.Chloe Strang collected more than 2,000 crayons for her effort Krayons 4 Kids. She is spending her school's winter recess in Nicaragua donating those crayons as well as other school supplies to a school in San Jose Del Sur.The sixth-grader at Skaneateles Middle School approached Applebee's in Auburn and asked that staff collect any crayons after young patrons use them. Instead of throwing them away, the employees dropped them in a bucket Chloe provided that carries her logo.Her mother, Skaneateles artist Shelly Kennedy, thanks the restaurant's general manager for agreeing to the program.“This is her first long-term project,” Kennedy said. If she met with resistance, she could have thought twice about taking on future community projects, her mother said.Instead, she took her idea to the next level. She approached the paper company Eastwood Litho for pads of paper and starting a Web site where people can donate money so Chloe can buy more supplies.Krayons 4 Kids received more than $200 in donations, which Chloe used to buy markers, pencils and bandages for packages for teachers. They also stuffed dozens of bags they planned to pass out to children at the school in Nicaragua.This idea sprang from another family vacation.Last February, Chloe went with her family, including her brother Clark, 10, and her father, Marc Strang, to Lima, Peru. While there, Chloe brought about 20 packages that included paper and crayons. While she enjoyed giving those to the young children she met, she was upset because she didn't have enough.Their guide told the family to give the paper and pencils to the older children, who would use them for educational purposes, rather than the younger children who would use the rare supplies for fun. They brought candy for those who didn't get supplies, but it was hard for Chloe to pass over some children to give to others.She told this story to her neighbor, Susie Ryan, who suggested Chloe explore ways of collecting contributions during her next vacation.During their trip, the family is staying at an EcoLodge, which promotes community activism and sustainability. The hotel uses solar panels and food from a local farm. The hotel connected the Strangs with a school close by that the family planned to distribute the supplies.The family likes to stay at an EcoLodge so they have different perspectives on life.“It's too easy to go on vacation and maintain the lifestyle you have at home,” Kennedy said.The family all selected activities they want to do. Kennedy wanted to see sea turtles hatching, her husband wanted to surf and their son wanted to fish. For her part, Chloe wanted to do community service.HOW TO HELPRead more about middle school student .

Chloe Strang's effort to collect school supplies called Krayons 4 Kids at her Web site http://www.krayons4kids.blogspot.com/. The site also includes a link to donate to her cause to provide children in Third-World countries papers, crayons and other supplies.

read article at Skaneateles Journal.com

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