Saturday, February 24, 2018
Education

Boats provided by Brooksville students help schoolchildren in Philippines

Some Filipino children are remaining dry as they travel to school thanks to students at Brooksville Elementary School.

Last May, the school held its annual festival to raise money for a global project. The money went to the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, which provides small boats that children can use to get to school instead of wading through water. Recently, Brooksville Elementary received an update and photos illustrating their efforts.

"Our boats are located in a remote part of the Philippines called Tamontaka," said global studies resource teacher Kathy Gates. "Students used to have to pay 15 pesos each day for a boat ride to school. Because of the poverty, families did not regularly have the money. That fact made attendance in school irregular. With the Brooksville Elementary boats, the pupils can now paddle their way to the school on their own. Participation rate in the schools is expected to rise."

The boats also can be useful for emergency evacuations during floods, Gates said.

"My kids are so very proud," she said.

Paulette Lash Ritchie, Times correspondent

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