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Marymount Students Get Their Groove On with Jivin’ for Japan Dance-a-Thon

The benefit brings in more than $6,000 to support Direct Relief International's efforts

Eighty-degree temperatures did nothing to dampen the energy as Marymount of Santa Barbara students danced for hours at Marymount’s Jivin’ for Japan Dance-a-Thon, a benefit that raised more than $6,000 for Direct Relief International’s efforts in Japan.

“It feels so good to be able to do something to help the people of Japan,” Marymount Middle School student Sophia Pearson said as she bounced and pivoted around the dance floor.

Middle school Latin, English and world religions teacher Kate Burris scheduled the Dance-a-Thon on Global Youth Service Day so that Marymount students could band together with millions of students in dozens of countries to make the world a better place.

“Marymount has a great track record of involving and inspiring students to be active in public service,” Burris said, adding that the original idea for the Dance-a-Thon came from a Marymount second-grader, Robert Williams.

Every Marymount student took to Williams’ Dance-a-Thon idea. Fifth-graders were seen asking their first-grade “buddies” to cut-a-rug, while others stood in line to dedicate songs to friends and teachers.

Jenny Kustura, a second-grade teacher who also teaches dance at Marymount, was the faculty ringleader behind the joyous outpouring of student energy. Not to be left on the sidelines, Head of School Deborah David led the conga line.

“This place has been hopping for three hours,” she said. “Did you see the fourth-graders? They can really dance!”

Marymount students are eager to deliver the check with all of their collected earnings.

“We can’t wait to get this money to Direct Relief International and to the people of Japan as soon as possible,” said Riley Borchardt, a Marymount second-grader.

— Deborah David is the head of school at Marymount of Santa Barbara.

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