Shock waves reached the little school of Westmark in Encino last year when word came that a magnitude-7.0 earthquake had hit Haiti, killing an estimated 316,000 people, injuring another 300,000 and leaving 1 million people homeless.
Lauren Levine, a sixth- through eighth-grade reading and English teacher, and Dorothee Chadda, an English teacher and ninth-grade-level adviser, were chatting on the Internet two nights later.
“I said, ‘We need to do something,’ and [Levine] said she was thinking the same thing,” Chadda said on Tuesday, the first day Westmark students returned to school after summer break.
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