BROOKSVILLE — Brooksville Elementary School ends each school year with a Global Celebration, during which students donate quarters to play games, enjoy snacks and participate in activities or crafts. The quarters then go to an international cause.
One year, they collected quarters for Haiti. Another year, they funded a water pump in Tanzania. Last year, they contributed to the Yellow Boat Project to help students navigate watery routes to and from school in the Philippines. This year's theme: "Quarters for Alpacas."
The children do their fundraising under the direction of global studies resource teacher Kathy Gates, who takes a trip every summer with Global Exploration for Educators. Last summer, she went to Machu Picchu in Peru.
The company is affiliated with the Planeterra Foundation.
"Planeterra adopts villages and gives them tools to pull them out of poverty," Gates said.
She told the students about the women in a village called Ccaccacollo, who weave and need alpacas for their raw material. The children wanted to help, Gates said, and when she told the company, she said, "They're thrilled that our kids want to buy them alpacas."
This year, the students have collected $2,700. Part of the money, perhaps $250, will go to help purchase books for a school in Mississippi that was damaged recently by tornadoes. Other sources are being tapped, including donations, as Brooksville Elementary hopes to raise $1,000 for that project.
Two hundred dollars will be saved as seed money for the next Global Celebration, and $2,298.35 is going directly to the alpaca project.
"My kids are so into this," Gates said.
The people they help often send photos to the school so the children can see what they have done.
"They love seeing a picture from another place in the world," Gates said.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: The name of the Planeterra Foundation was misspelled in a May 23 Top of the Class story about Brooksville Elementary School's Global Celebration.