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Paterson, Passaic Schools Seek Donations For Feast

Guests help themselves at the buffet line during last year's Feast of Giving, run by iLearn Schools.
Guests help themselves at the buffet line during last year's Feast of Giving, run by iLearn Schools. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Dawn Fantasia

PATERSON, N.J. — Charter schools in Paterson and Passaic will help spread the message of togetherness with an annual Feast of Giving next month.

Each Thanksgiving, iLearn schools in Bergen and Passaic counties invite the families and friends of students to sit down and share a meal together.

Dawn Fantasia, chief growth officer with iLearn, said the tradition began around 2008 and grown eacn year.

iLearns is a non-profit charter management organization that provides specialized educational in arts and sciences, according to its website. It features schools in Paterson, Passaic and Garfield, with its headquarters in Elmwood Park.

Given the fact that some of the students are from "disadvantaged" areas, Fantasia said, the organization needs to invite more people for the dinners, which are held on Thanksgiving week.

But it needs to raise money to do so. A GoFundMe page raised $1,200 its first two days.

"We have some of the most dedicated families and community members that I've seen in public education anywhere," Fantasia told Daily Voice. "Our community always rallies around causes that directly help others."

CEO Nihat Guvercin said iLearn schools feel an obligation to give back.

"There is no better time than Thanksgiving," Guvercin said. "So basically we are just trying to help the communities that we know are in desperate need."

TO DONATE: https://www.gofundme.com/feastofgiving

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