OSWEGO, NY – Third graders at Leighton Elementary School did something special for an impoverished community this past holiday season.
They had been reflecting on their ELA and Social Studies unit theme, which talked about how communities help each other learn and grow, and the importance of learning, in general.
Students discussed the fact that it is often taken for granted that they are surrounded by books at home, in school, in their libraries, and their community.
They noted that they have the greatest opportunity to go to school to learn and improve their lives.
They recently read the book Beatrice’s Goat by Paige McBrier that inspired the third grade students.
The story is about a girl in an African village that was given a goat, which enabled her to lift her family out of poverty.
Her dream then comes true – when she can afford to go to school.
They learned that there are people in world communities that are not as fortunate as they are, and there are those who need help and support.
As a result of the readings, the children wanted to show their true spirit of giving, and raise $100 (through World Visions Project) to buy a goat and two chickens for an impoverished family in a foreign village.
According to Joanne Henry, a third grade teacher at Leighton, it was hard for the students to imagine that a goat and two chickens could help a family survive, because they (students) had never felt such extreme hunger.
However, they learned that when you join forces with other generous people, you can make a difference.
The students raised money by having a Hat Day, Pajama Day, and a Tacky Sweater Day at school.
Some students donated their allowances, did extra chores at home and helped neighbors in order to earn their quarters and dollars.
Leighton School teachers donated to the cause, as well, by purchasing ‘upcycled’ cold weather mittens.