What began as the reading of a children’s book will end with a well being repaired in Africa after Carlisle Elementary School staff and students raised nearly $500 for the Georgie Badiel Foundation.
Carrie Abahazi, the library media specialist at Carlisle Elementary School, said that a few weeks ago she read “The Water Princess” by Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel to all of the students at the school. Abahazi said the book is about a young girl in Africa who has to journey far away from her home to get clean water and then has to carry it all the way back home every day.
“The students really related to this book,” Abahazi said. “Then we looked at (the Georgie Badiel Foundation) website and the statistics.”
Abahazi said she thought it would be a good opportunity for Carlisle Elementary to do a service project and teach the students about the impact they can have on a global scale. Abahazi said the school would try and raise $500 to repair a well in a village in Sub-Saharan Africa through the Georgie Badiel Foundation.
“We decided to give to that foundation since it’s directly connected to the person the book is about,” Abahazi said. “The kids were super engaged at every grade level and I thought we should act on that since they were so interested.”
Abahazi said students and staff would donate money and write their name on a drop of water that they would post in the hall. She said in the first two days she collected 81 water drops along with a total of $155.
As of Monday, Abahazi said Carlisle Elementary had collected $490 in donations and 225 water drops.
“It’s something tangible for the kids to say ‘Carlisle is responsible for repairing a well for a community,’” Abahazi said. “It’s something they can grasp.”
Abahazi said she showed students a video of an African community getting a well for the first time and how joyful they were to have fresh water available.
“It’s not like each of these people is getting their own well or has water in their own house,” Abahazi told students. “I hope that they have an appreciation for what they have here in our country. I hope that they can learn that if we all do something little it can add up into making a difference and can mean something big.”
Abahazi said she hopes this project has an impact on the students at Carlisle Elementary School.
“I think at this age they are being molded,” Abahazi said. “I think the more we can expose them to things like this and showing them acts of kindness will hopefully shape who they become as adults. Our principal has been very big on promoting kindness. It’s a big theme in our school and I think this is a big tie-in to that theme.”
For information, go to GeorgieBadielFoundation.org.
Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.