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Cool Schools: Southeast Middle and Breast Cancer

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BATON ROUGE - Some 8th graders at Southeast Middle School wanted to do something special for their math teacher, Michelle Perk. What started out as small project, quickly grew into something the whole school rallied behind. Southeast Middle has now raised $11,000 for breast cancer research.

It all began six years ago, when Ms. Perk's students learned about her personal experience with the deadly disease. That year, five students ran in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. In 2015, around 100 kids participated.

Ms. Perk's mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor and is still battling cancer now.

"It just makes me extremely happy and just melts your heart to know your kids literally want to give back to their community and find a cure before they grow up," she told News 2's Kylie Dixon. "....As a teacher, you can't ask for any more than that."

The students designed and produced t-shirts for fundraising. Their goal was $10,000, but they blew past that mark over the weekend. Over the past six years, students have raised nearly $27,000.

Ms. Perk is also the Southeast Middle and East Baton Rouge Middle School Teacher of the Year. She is nominated as a regional semi-finalist for Louisiana Teacher of the Year.

"I feel honored and humbled, and the kids are so supportive," she explains. "When they announced it over the intercom, the entire class went crazy and scream(ed)."

Her students say the honor is well-deserved.

"In Ms. Perk's class, it's like we are a while family," Southeast Middle 8th grader Darrin Thomas, Jr. says. "It's like we're all brothers and sisters, an we all work together as a team."

As a team, they've helped breast cancer survivors and their families, including Ms. Perk's.

Watch the video for more information, and 2une In each Tuesday to learn about the latest "Cool School" in our area.

If you want to see your favorite teacher, students or school features, contact News 2's Kylie Dixon at kdixon@wbrz.com or (225) 333-2392.



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