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Students at Temple Sinai's The Gan preschool recently participated in their annual Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Hop-A-Thon, raising close to $700. While the event was a fundraiser, it was also a disability awareness, acceptance and educa- tion program for the students, a news release points out. Temple Sinai is the only preschool in the area involved in this MDA initiative, the release says. MDA provides a curriculum that teach- ers utilize to educate their students in an age-appropriate manner about "the core values of dealing with people with muscle diseases," it notes. Laura Freedman, director of early childhood education at The Gan, said in the release, "Preschool age kids learn by doing. The boys and girls of our school learn about hopping for those who cannot hop for themselves." "The students rotated to different stations where they hopped like rabbits, frogs and kangaroos," the release says. Not only did they collect almost $700, but the youngsters also had the honor of winning the regional photo contest for the event, the release notes. The prize was a hop-themed gift basket for the school. This is the second Mitzvah project of the school year for The Gan; it also annually hosts PRESCHOOLERS AT THE GAN RAISE FUNDS FOR MDA RESEARCH Laura Freedman, director of early childhood education at The Gan at Temple Sinai, talks with students about the Muscular Dystrophy Association. (From left) Teak Gammaro, Sam Willner, Nash Gold and Eli Winters participated in the annual Hop-A-Thon and helped raise close to $700. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 23, 2014 Page 87

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