LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

Students at North Woods International School in La Crosse took part in a read-a-thon Friday for a good cause.

They spent the day reading books, and being read to by local volunteers, including News 8's Lisa Klein.    

The school-wide project is part of Gundersen Health System's Global Partners Program.

Students raise money to bring education and reading to people in Nicaragua.

Teachers say the read-a-thon is a great way for students to give back.

One student even donated his entire piggy bank to the cause. "I asked him, 'are you sure you don't want to save some of this, you've been saving a long time?' He was insistent this was all to go to Nicaragua and he dumped it all into the bag. It was $17.39. It just warmed my heart and actually made me cry to see a child with such compassion like that," said North Woods Spanish Teacher Sarah Kratt.

Students raised nearly $4,500.