Amazing little fundraisers

Kindergarten students at GNS helping Indian children get to school

Adrienne Henderson (centre) is surrounded by Glenlyon Norfolk School kindergarten students Callum Shillington (clockwise from left)

As Glenlyon Norfolk School kindergarten teacher Bob Eagle reflects on his time in India, images of child destitution are fresh in his mind.

“When you hear or read about it, it’s just ‘out there,’” he says. “(But) when you see it, it’s real.”

Surrounded by dozens of smiling kindergarten students in colour-coded shirts, kicking soccer balls, hunting for stuffed animals and making sculptures out of gum, the contrast is striking for him.

“Kids here, they have more than they need. I feel that link quite strongly.”

His experience overseas – he has travelled to India three times now – has opened his eyes to how fortunate the children at his school are. He wanted to take some of that excess and pass it around, helping a country he fell in love with in 2007.

“(We are) engaging these kids in engaging outside of themselves and contributing,” he says of the GNS kindergarten class. “Planting a seed.”

The seed is a fundraiser, dubbed the GNS Amazing Race for India. With their parents’ help the schoolchildren collected sponsorships, then completed tasks or overcame obstacles around the Beach Drive junior school set up by volunteers and school staff.

Loosely based around the popular TV program, where globetrotting participants complete time-based challenges and obstacles, the reward for GNS students was a collection of more than $5,000 for children in India.

The donation will outfit more than 130 children with uniforms and school supplies for a year, at a cost of about $38 per child. The state provides the school and the teacher, but families must bear the cost of supplies.

Fundraiser co-chair Jennifer Bell says the local group has connected with a representative in India. He identifies children with the greatest need and works with the families to ensure the money is spent on schooling.

That a relatively small amount can go so far was one reason 13-year-old Monterey middle school student Adrienne Henderson wanted to get involved. She has spearheaded a project with her classmates to raise funds to send Indian children to school.

“This has been an amazing experience,” she says. “It’s about getting out there and helping, I like having the feeling of helping others.”

Today she is manning the obstacle course as students scramble up “The Cave,” a spaceball shaped climbing structure, and a treasure hunt for stuffed animals nearby. As she calls out to the children by name, the smile on her face is as broad as those on the five and six year olds.

“It is really fun to work with kids, they are adorable,” the Oak Bay resident says. “It is nice we (also) get to see the impact we have on kids in India.”

Adrienne is convinced that young children and youth like herself are capable of making a difference. While some people might think teens are “self-absorbed,” she believes young people can have a huge impact, especially in situations such as this.

“We can break the cycle of no school and (of) poverty. It is nice to feel I could be a part of that.”

Eagle can’t agree more.

“(We want to) create the imprint,” he says. “The effect goes on and ripples through time.”

To learn more about the fundraiser, visit gns.kidzhelpingkidz.weebly.com or call GNS at 250-370-6854.

editor@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Meet Arthur Heart, Oak Bay Avenue’s resident stickman

Contest winner dubs stickman Art Heart

Victoria council keeps its catered lunches at more than $10,000 per year

Two councillors tried to eliminate the expense, with widespread rejection

All Carlton Cards stores closing in the coming weeks

Schurman Retail Group stores across North America will close, including 79 in Canada

UPDATED: 12 Wet’suwet’en supporters arrested by VicPD

Protesters rallied against Coastal GasLink pipeline

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Most Read