hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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June 13, 2013

Meet Haverhill's whiz kid

From volunteerism to straight A's to dancing, this 10-year-old does almost everything

Her fourth-grade teacher considers her a role model for other students.

Her mother says she has boundless energy and is always looking for opportunities to help others.

She’s only 10 years old, but Ryleigh Storm Cyr has developed a resume of volunteerism and achievements that would rival those of many adults.

Not that she’s thinking of a career at such a young age. For now, she’s happy to spend her time studying and dancing, visiting elderly people in nursing homes, and setting aside her allowance for causes such as donating Build-a-Bears to autistic children.

“I buy a bear, dress it up and donate it to kids who have autism,” Ryleigh said. “I’ve done it twice so far and I want to continue doing it.”

Ryleigh, a straight A student at Pentucket Lake Elementary School, has her hands into many things. She’s a student council representative as well as a competitive dancer at Just Dance Complex in North Andover.

“In the classroom, she sets high goals for herself and always strives to meet them,” said Amanda Roche, Ryleigh’s fourth-grade teacher. “She participates in all of our classroom activities with a positive, upbeat attitude and her bright personality is a great model for other students.”

As a member of her school’s “Chief’s Council,” Ryleigh is always dedicated to attending the meetings and offering ideas that help others, Roche said, adding that Ryleigh is a very generous student. Roche said that one day Ryleigh brought in a book from her personal library to donate to her classroom library so other children could read it.

“Her level of personal responsibility is amazing for a girl her age,” Roche said.

“Right now, the student council is thinking about spirit week and what we can do,” Ryleigh said. “Every Friday, we do recycling and take all the bins and dump them out. And at assemblies, we put all the chairs back on racks and we sometimes get a cool reward like a pencil or an eraser.”

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