Local Homestake Peak School third graders’ project reaches all the way to Africa | VailDaily.com

Local Homestake Peak School third graders’ project reaches all the way to Africa

EAGLE-VAIL — You never know what good you can do until you do it.

Homestake Peak School third-graders made items, sold items, raised $222 and sent the money to kids in a part of Africa where students there will use it to survive.

"In the volunteering world, we think that what we do is not enough to change somebody else's reality," said Patricia Bustos-Acosta, who works in the area where the local kids' money went.

That's not correct, she said.

“Little people in little places doing little things can change the world, which is why those third-graders and their teacher will help these kids to eat for one more month.” Patricia Bustos-Acosta

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"Little people in little places doing little things can change the world, which is why those third-graders and their teacher will help these kids to eat for one more month," Bustos-Acosta said.

Impeccable timing

Timing is everything, and the Homestake third-graders' was impeccable.

The rainy season just ended in that part of Africa, which means kids there will be without water for a long time, Bustos-Acosta said.

"With that money the kids in Africa are going to buy water and corn," she said.

The staff at those schools will use the corn to make porridge, the only meal of the day for some of their students. And some of those students walk an hour a day to get to school and that mug of porridge.

The $222 the Homestake Peak third-graders raised will buy enough corn to make porridge for students in one of those African schools for a month, Bustos-Acosta said.

How they got here

In mid-April, Georgina G. Nifosi Sosa's Homestake Peak third-graders were studying business plans, along with other ways to develop communication skills in her Spanish language arts class, she said.

She noticed that during lunch, some students grab more food than they eat and then throw away the leftovers. Nifosi Sosa is a global thinker originally from Argentina.

Last fall, her class worked with a Guatemalan school, which put a face on international studies. As part of all that, she staged a concert for Puerto Rico hurricane victims and the Puerto Rican school where she used to teach.

The projects help the kids learn Spanish, social studies and, most important, values, Nifosi Sosa said.

Her students designed the project and went to work. Everything in the world begins with grammar, or should, and the vocabulary useful for selling things, because to raise money for their Africa project, they had to sell items. Then they set about creating and building the things they would sell.

Nifosi Sosa invited Bustos-Acosta, the friend who had worked in Tanzania, to show the class photos and video and talk about her experience. They listened to music from Tanzania and wrote letters to the kids in Africa.

When it came time for the local third-graders to sell their stuff, kids from other classes, as well as parents and staff, packed the classroom to buy it.

Their teachers were happy because their students created business plans and marketing materials and acquired Spanish-language skills.

Everyone else was happy because the class raised nearly $230.

"We have a lot of support from our school. The support we have here, I can feel the love," Nifosi Sosa said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.