The devastating earthquake in Haiti has moved the worldwide community to offering assistance.

The students and staff of the Tamaqua Area School District are no exception.

"The images on TV of the victims made me want to cry," said Tamaqua Area High School Principal RuthAnn Gardiner. "They were very difficult to watch."

In order to help those victims, Tamaqua Area Schools asked for and received permission from the district's administration to hold a district-wide dress down day on Friday as a fundraiser for Haitian quake relief.

Normally, the district has a uniform dress code for its students, with the regular standard of dress including dress slacks or skirts and golf-style polar shirts, and only certain colors are permitted, such as navy blue or white shirts and navy or tan pants.

The dress down day gave the students a break from the uniforms. For $1, the high school and middle school students were allowed to wear jeans instead of dress slacks. At the high school, students could wear different colored shirts, while at the middle school, blue "spirit shirts" were in vogue.

According to Gardiner, the high school also offered an additional "Hoodies for Haiti" drive that, for an extra dollar, allowed students to wear their favorite hoodies to class. The hoodie is an item favored by students that is not allowed under the dress code, she noted.

Elementary students were allowed to participate in the dress down fundraiser if they donated a minium of 25 cents, added Gardiner. The end result was that over $4,000 was raised for the Haitian earthquake victims through the students' efforts.

"This was a Kindergarten through 12 grade fundraiser. I'm very proud of them for that," said Gardiner.

The funds will be donated to the American Red Cross to be distributed to the Haitian relief efforts, she stressed.