© Austin M. Davis
Grade 6 and 7 students from Westmount Elementary School's Generosity Club are more than halfway to their goal of raising $10,000 for a school in Kenya.
Brick by brick, the Westmount Elementary School Generosity Club is helping to build a school in Kenya.
“One day we could change the world, but we start small and build a school,” said Hennessy Klyne, “Who knows what we could do next?”
After raising donations for the humane society and putting together 66 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, the club voted on where to next focus its efforts.
“These guys wanted to leave it open and say ‘Whatever country, city or town needs it, that’s where we want it to go,’” said Debbie Taylor-French, one of the teachers overseeing the club.
“At first they didn’t want to pick because they didn’t want to shut out the neediest place, which I give them a huge amount of credit for. As we were fundraising, they found it was easier for people to donate if they knew where the money was going.”
After researching countries, the club of about 30 students decided kids in Kenya needed a good building to learn in. They’d seen photos and videos depicting conditions they described as terrible.
They were upset by what they saw and decided to make a difference.
Since December, the Generosity Club has been selling paper bricks at $20 each. A display of the sold and unsold bricks is on the wall in the school’s entrance.
The students hope to sell all 500 bricks and raise $10,000 to donate to the We Day organizers to build a school or school room. With $5,600 raised already, they’re more than halfway.
“I think we’re doing pretty good. I think we’ve done a lot better than we thought we would,” said Danielle Mooney.
“It means a lot to me because I know a lot of people around the world don’t have education like we do,” said Klyne. “It feels so good to do it because we’re helping out our world.”
During a conversation with the Generosity Club over the lunch hour, two things became obvious: one) the Westmount students have realized how fortunate they are to have access to education, and two) they are passionate about making a difference.
“As the weeks go on, more kids join this club. There were maybe 10 kids for the first meeting,” Taylor-French said. “One of the things they said they wanted to do was build a schoolhouse. Before the idea was even out there, these guys had came up with it.”
As the Generosity Club’s most recent project continues to catch on with the community, they’re dubbed their to-be-built school the “Westmount Generosity School.”
With help from the Student Representative Council and Student Community Council, Westmount raised $382 from a hat day, charging a toonie for students to wear hats. All of it went to the Generosity School.
Businesses around the city have little school houses for accepting donations.
Westmount’s holding a movie matinee on Sunday at 2 p.m. with the charge of a free will donation.
Selling candy, holding a garage sale, a craft and trade sale and a bottle drive are just a few of the plans to sell all 500 bricks.
“There’s so much they want to do, and we’re just like ‘Wait, wait. One thing at a time.’ Because they just want to keep going and going,” Taylor-French said.
People interested in buying a brick or getting a little donation house for their business can call Westmount School at 306-694-5999.