Calculus For A Cause | South Pasadena High School Students Raise Money For Paradise

Students taking part in South Pasadena High’s Calculus for a Cause receive sample text questions for math final exam in exchange for donations to help victims following the devastation that took the town of Paradise following destructive fires in November

PHOTO: South Pasadena High School | News | Calculus For A Cause

It’s a win-win for students and those seeking a helping hand.

No one can argue with that concept.

Now in its 10th year, individuals looking to gain an edge in passing their final math examination at South Pasadena High received a booklet full of sample test questions last week while their $20 donation went to support victims of the town of Paradise after the most destructive wildfire in recorded California history.

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Ruth Moonesinghe, a longtime teacher at South Pasadena High School, came up with the idea of the popular Calculus for a Cause program and it has also raised more than 90,000 to support a variety of worthy local and global charities.

Along with the practice text packet, students also received three hours of free tutoring in math from SPHS advanced students, teachers and alumni inside the school’s gymnasium just prior to the start of fall semester finals at the school. In its infancy, the Calculus for a Cause packet was intended only for those taking calculus, but today many students can take advantage of it, as nearly every level of math is part of the program.

“One hundred percent of the money raise at the event is donated,” said Moonesinghe.  “Last year $7,000 was donated to the Jose Andres charity World Central Kitchen to help the people of Puerto Rico after of the devastating Hurricane. Other organizations such as Doctors without Borders, Architecture for Humanity, Door of Hope shelter for homeless families, The Salvation Army, Sri Lanka medical association, Los Altos rotary club, are some of the organization that it has supported over the past decade.”

Through donations, a sense of hope will be provided this year to some of those whose homes burned in the Camp Fire, which began on the morning of Nov. 8 and ripped through parts of Paradise and other communities, killing at least 85 people. The fire’s cause is still under investigation.

PHOTO: South Pasadena High School | News | Calculus For A Cause

“Sixty-two percent of the families at Paradise Elementary School, one that burned down, are socio-economically disadvantaged,” explained Moonesinghe. “The goal is to provide each family member who is disadvantaged a gift card upwards of $50 during this holiday season. This year’s event raised $7,080 and we’re seeking a company to partner with to provide as many families with a gift card. We are hoping that Target will  provide us matching funds or cards at a discount so that are money will go further.”

PHOTO: South Pasadena High School | News | Calculus For A Cause Group SPHS 2019

Calculus for a Cause started in 2008 to raise money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. This event is held each semester to raise funds for an organization helping alleviate the effects of a recent natural disaster, or provide to some other charitable or needful organization.

Every South Pasadena student can benefit for twice yearly event. “We won’t turn away anyone who wants an exam packet,” stressed Moonesinghe. “No one is ever excluded if they can’t make the donation.”

She enjoys the win-win situation of students getting some solid practice before their final math exam while they help a charity financially. “I believe in creating opportunities for students to give back,” said the kind-hearted Moonesinghe when asked what she gets most out of Calculus for a Cause. “I want to plant that seed of giving.”

PHOTO: South Pasadena High School | News | Calculus For A Cause