Lee elementary smile train

Students in Sanela Pjetrovic's fifth grade class helped raised more than $4,000 for underprivileged children to receive dental surgery. 

Students at Richard J. Lee Elementary raised more than $4,500 that will go toward helping children in underprivileged countries receive dental surgery. 

“Now they can smile just like everybody else,” said fifth-grader Neha Gottimukkala. 

The students, who are in Sanela Pjetrovic’s fifth-grade class, have helped 17 children repair cleft lips and other dental issues through the funds. 

Fifth-grader student Neha Patel said the students were inspired to help the children after reading a book called “Wonder.” She said the main character in the book suffered from a cleft lip and was bullied in school. 

She said she and the rest of her class wanted to start an effort to help people who have this condition. 

Fifth-grade student Saharsh Manderwad said their effort began with a cookie sale at Lee, with the students selling treats for $1. The fundraiser raised more than $500. 

To date the students have raised $4,538. 

“We’re proud of our accomplishment,” Manderwad said. 

Pjetrovic said the fundraiser is run and managed by the students, and they have partnered with Smile Train to help them with their cause. 

“We helped give them another chance at life,” Gottimukkala said.

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