By Syma Chowdhry
BURLINGTON, NJ (CBS) –“It’s been going wonderfully. We have an enthusiastic and extraordinary community here.”
Principal William Robbins faced a challenge.
Raise $250,000 by this week, or close Saint Paul School by the end of this year.
“Who would’ve thought six weeks ago that we could’ve gotten to $250,000 it’s just amazing.”
That’s right, school officials had less than two months to raise a year’s worth of funds.
Some were calling it a Christmas miracle.
Parents rallied using social media and hosting fundraising events.
Heather Bartram says, “We just said, ‘we are going to do it. Don’t stop believing and it’s going to happen.'”
“We’ve had some really nice corporate donors. We did have an anonymous $25,000 check that was given to us,” says Principal Robbins.
Students are thrilled they may get to stay.
Joe Bartram says, “All the bad thoughts are gone. It’s all happy thoughts now.”
“I really like all the teachers. I like all my friends. It’s just really nice here,” says Olivia Bartram.
The Burlington school is only a few thousand dollars short, but they’re getting that money from another private school in town.
Headmaster John McGee of Doane Academy says, “It just made sense to try to be of help to Saint Paul’s because we’ve been there.”
Doane Academy faced a closure back in 1999, but managed to thrive since.
McGee says, “I just felt that it could not afford to lose an educational alternative like Saint Paul’s offers.”
“The next challenge is keeping registration up, which means attracting more students to the classroom.”
Principal Robbins says, “The money that we have collected is predicated on the population that we have this year.”
The K through 8th grade school has more than 140 students and they need to maintain that number to stay open.
“We want to make sure that we are not only here for one year but for many years after.”
Which means the community will continue to rally together to keep the school open.
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