ICYMI: Aquarian students' bake sale raises money for Spenard fire victims

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - For the students at Aquarian Charter School in Anchorage, bake sales are nothing new.

"We try to build a culture of caring, and hope the kids get excited about that, and about being a part of it," said Aquarian Principal Lucas Saltzman.

The mission this week, however, was fresh out of the oven.

"The fire is really close to our school, and a lot of kids drive by it each day on their way to school," said Kristin Main, a second grade teacher at the school and also the head of the class that decided to donate the funds. "So there was some discussion after it happened, and it coincided with the bake sale schedule, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity."

Main's class at Aquarian decided that this Friday, instead of raising money for themselves and activities in their own classroom, all of the funds from Friday's bake sale would go to aid residents - including kids - who lost nearly everything in Wednesday's fatal Spenard fire.

"I try to explain it at home," said Tarra Bradford-Williams, parent of an Aquarian student. "I don't know if they fully understand how grateful they should be, but when things like this happen, and the school explains it, and they donate, the kids start to understand that their money is going to a good cause and that those kids are people in need."

Jules Butcher, a second grader in Main's class, said she and every single one of her classmates wanted to donate the money instead of keep it for themselves.

"When we get older, this might happen to us," she said. "It probably won't, but, you know, it's good. We have a community."

So, while the sweet sights and tasty treats provide a little bite of happiness to customers, they'll also be giving a little relief to those in need: The students, staff, parents and guardians at Aquarian raised $1,405.25 for their cause Friday.

"It makes me feel great," Saltzman said. "I mean, that's what we're trying to do here, is have a generation that cares."

This story originally aired Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, on Channel 2.