Elementary students at Westminster Christian School in Palmetto Bay were so moved by the plight of children in the Sudan after reading the book A Long Walk to Water that they began working to help out and make a difference.
As a result of their efforts the third, fourth and fifth grade youngsters raised $10,000 for Charity: Water, an organization with a mission to provide clean and safe drinking water to Africa and around the world. The funds will go to provide safe drinking water in Ethiopia.
During a special ceremony in the school’s Community Center the morning of Tuesday, Apr. 29, the students and their teachers presented the “big check” to a representative from Charity: Water via Skype.
WCS Elementary School principal Jenn Thompson was pleased with the success of the project.
“Passionate teachers encourage students to get involved,” Thompson said. “This was true in this project as the upper elementary students read Linda Sue Park’s novel and decided to serve families in need across the globe. I am so proud of their creativity and their willingness to serve.”
The students raised the funds by means of a variety of projects throughout the school year. Every Friday morning students volunteered to sell items that were donated by school families. The elementary student council raised $2,000 selling flowers for Valentine’s Day and donated the money to the Charity: Water fundraiser. In addition, every week during chapel, students brought in spare change to help fund the cause. Some students even asked friends to forgo giving them birthday presents in favor of making a donation to the cause.
“We have so much and they don’t — not even water,” said Tommy Brigham, WCS fourth grade student. “It feels good to do something to help them and share what we can with them.”
Isabella Valdes, a fifth grade student at WCS, was pleasantly surprised by their success. “We sold breakfast items in the morning and water bottles to raise money,” Valdes said.
“We also collected coins in a ‘noisy offering’ every week at chapel. It’s amazing how small gifts can add up to make a big difference!”
Westminster Christian Elementary School, founded in 1961, serves 358 students from preschool through fifth grade. It is located at 6855 SW152 St. in Palmetto Bay.