Brooklyn charter school scrambles to save study abroad program

The head of The Ember Charter School in Brooklyn is scrambling to save a study-abroad trip to South Africa for 7th and 8th grade students after the trip's primary donor backed out at the last minute.

“I get it, it’s their money. They can spend their philanthropy however they like, but it really hurt,” explained school founder Rafiq Kalam Id-Din.

The six-week trip to South Africa took several years to plan. The original budget was close to $600,000 for 70 students.

“We weren’t going to turn to our students and say 'sorry you can’t go;' we weren’t going to do it. So we said, 'you know what? We’ll figure it out.'”

By moving around the school’s budget they were able to come up with half of the cost of the trip. The school will still move forward with the trip on Monday hoping to raise the rest of the money from donations.

They started an online fundraising site here.

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