Lakewood elementary Grade 5 students Ally Arnold (left)

Local students help African children go to school

Club hopes to expand to other schools in the Sooke district

The smell of popcorn drifts down the hallway of Lakewood elementary even before you get to Robyn Penfold’s classroom.

But it’s not just the kernels that are bouncing. Her students are also vibrating as they talk about what they are going to do with the money raised from their popcorn sales.

That money is being donated to Education is Power, a charitable organization founded by Penfold’s fiancé, and it is being used to send students in Kenya and Tanzania to secondary school.

“They’re just at that age when they believe they can make a difference so fully, there’s no doubt in their minds,” Penfold said of her Grade 5 students. But it’s not just her classroom that’s helping raise money. She runs a club at the school that gives interested Grade 5 students a chance to get involved and learn more about the struggles other students around the world can face.

“It started the conversation of what education looks like in other countries,” she said. “It’s been amazing how keen they are.”

Penfold hopes this enthusiasm will spread to not just other classrooms in the school, but others in the district. “I’d love to help other teachers get involved,” she added.

Since Grade 5 students are involved in this club, Penfold hopes they will move on to Spencer middle school and join a similar Me to We club or continue fundraising on their own.

Getting students and teachers involved is very important, said 10-year-old Ally Arnold. She is not one of Penfold’s students but joined the club as a way to help other students. She noted her class also got to learn about these African countries.

Haley McArthur, 10, added, “We’re sending people to school whose families can’t afford for them to go.”

Eleven-year-old Ruby Wallace even took it upon herself to do some fundraising outside of school to help the club. At her family’s property up at Lake Cowichan, Wallace and a friend set up a lemonade stand and sold baked goods. The pair managed to raise $50.

“Education is a great part of life; everyone should have it,” she said.

The club, which meets at lunch time, has had two popcorn sales this month. The first raised roughly $300. But as Dominic Bruschetta, 10, pointed out, “every dollar you raise is tripled by a private donor.” So that $300 turned into $1,200 and the students were able to raise enough funds to send three students to school in Kenya, just by selling popcorn for $1 a bag, Bruschetta added.

At the second popcorn sale earlier this week, the students raised roughly $200, which they noted would translate to another two students being able to go to school.

The pictures of the African students these local children have helped are proudly displayed outside of Penfold’s classroom. Handwritten letters of appreciation prove these local students made a difference to someone.

For more information go to educationispower.org.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Langford’s Sarah Beckett Memorial playground opens

Life of West Shore RCMP Constable honoured with new playground

Improvements to Sinclair Road coming

Development comes after Cadboro Bay Residents Association (CBRA) raised concerns

Saanich councillor open to more commercial operations in local parks

Coun. Ned Taylor had raised the issue during his election campaign

Search for missing Saanich Peninsula pair ends in tragedy

Vehicle found with two deceased occupants inside

Team Canada set to compete at 2019 Rugby World Cup and Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Rugby Canada’s training centre in Langford prepares athletes for the international stage

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Most Read