DOVER — Renowned accordionist Gary Sredzienski is braving the ice-cold Bellamy River next month in an effort to raise $10,000 for Seacoast Charter School.
Sredzienski is known as “Creekman.” He takes part in charity swims for organizations that capture his heart. Last year, he raised money for the Ukulele Kids Club. This year, he was blown away by the programs at Seacoast Charter School.
“They’re doing great work over there,” Sredzienski said. “It blew me away to see kids looking forward to going to school.”
Seacoast Charter School on Watson Road in Dover teaches 275 students in grades K-8 using the arts as an integrated part of the classroom. Students come to the school from about 35 communities in New Hampshire, according to music teacher Mary Maravic.
“They don’t have to be associated with Dover. We’ve had people from as far away as Manchester,” Maravic said of the student base.
The reason the charter school is raising money with a charity swim and dance afterward is because they don’t receive as much funding as other public schools in the state and need to make up an average $8,000 per student difference, Maravic said.
“We’re the longest running charter school in the state of New Hampshire. A lot of them have folded. It’s a lot of effort to get funding,” Maravic said.
Students at the school get to attend for free and apply through a lottery system, Maravic said.
Sredzienski said this is going to be his 11th charity swim since he started in 2006. He’s raised about $90,000 for various organizations so far.
On Jan. 5, Sredzienski will start off on the river in Dover about 2 p.m. and make his way to the Scammell Bridge, which connects Route 4 between Dover and Durham.
There will be a concert and dance at Dover City Hall on Central Avenue afterwards from 6 to 8 p.m.
For more information about the fundraiser or to get tickets, visit www.seacoastcharterschool.org/creekman.