White Rock students aim to erase school-supply need

White Rock Elementary students show off some of the pencils and other school supplies they’ve collected for students in Kenya. - Sarah Massah photo
White Rock Elementary students show off some of the pencils and other school supplies they’ve collected for students in Kenya.
— image credit: Sarah Massah photo

Students at White Rock Elementary put a lot of effort into supplying Kenyan students with a simple tool.

Led by the school’s Grade 7 Global Leadership Group, students organized a pencil fundraiser benefiting children in the African country who can not easily access the utensil.

The idea for the fundraiser came to school mom Lara Pai after her aunt, humanitarian and Gulf Island director of ICROSS Canada, Mollie Colson told her she was looking for pencils to bring to students who were in need of school supplies.

“When I heard about her quest to find as many pencils as she could, I thought a school fundraiser was a great start,” Pai said.

Each classroom was challenged to see who could bring in the most pencils, among other school supplies.

Students took the challenge to heart, Pai said, noting that a Grade 2 student took her $2 allowance to the dollar store to buy herself something, and instead, spent her toonie on 12 pencils for the fundraiser.

“She told her grandma that she would rather use her $2 to buy two packs of pencils and the other people in line and the cashier heard it all, and they each gave her $1 to help buy more pencils,” Pai said.

The Grade 2 and Grade 3 fine arts classes brought in more than 1,200 pencils, as well as dozens of notebooks, packs of paper and more.

In total, the school collected 3,222 pencils, 172 notebooks, 126 packs of paper, 86 erasers and 67 pencil sharpeners.

The school supplies were then donated to Kenya through Compassionate Resources Warehouse.

Pai said the students hope that other schools will take on the challenge.

“They… hope to inspire and challenge other school to join in the effort to help less-fortunate children around the world have the simplest tool for learning – a pencil.”

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