Raising funds to build a school in Haiti

More than 30 students crammed into a classroom at Glen Ames Senior Public School last week, debating how best to turn cookies into cash.

The lunch hour discussion last week covered all sorts of details for the bake sale. Would there be a cookie contest? Would the winner cost more? Should the goodies be divided into mixed boxes and sold in batches? How many days should the sale run? If it runs longer there could be more sales, but more baked goods will need to be organized.

The school’s Me To We club operates twice a week under the watch of French teacher Jan Divok. The 52 members (only four boys – “We’re working on that,” according to a few of the girls) have so far raised $1,170 toward a long-term goal of $10,000. That amount will pay for the construction of a school in Haiti, a goal chosen shortly after the club started in February 2015.

From February to May, club members sold hot chocolate, made a pancake breakfast, delivered candygrams, and sold jewelry for Mother’s Day, raising the first $1,000 from the roughly 470 students at the school and their friends and families.

While the work to rule campaign at the start of this school year put a damper on in-school activities until recently, club members organized outside of school. Students sold baked goods to artists to give out during October’s Beach Studio Tour, a fundraising activity they hope to repeat.

Two students gave an update on the school donation boxes placed in 17 businesses along Queen Street. The cardboard boxes, shaped like schools, collect change from patrons, and will be collected regularly. One business owner offered to host a box and make a $250 donation.

A recent fundraiser saw the club’s members collecting pledges to say nothing. The group kept its collective mouths shut for a total of 361 and a half hours for Free the Children’s We Are Silent campaign.

Upcoming ideas for the group include December’s bake sale, repeats of popular ideas from the last school year, and more. Student Dimitra Gorman said the club splits into smaller groups, each responsible for bringing monthly ideas back to the larger group.

“It’s kind of hard taking 52 ideas for one month,” she said.

Divok said the students have done an impressive job organizing so far, and hopes to facilitate a larger fundraising event in the coming months.

“It’s an amazing group of young women doing amazing things,” she said. “And the boys too, of course.”

Donations to the Glen Ames Me To We club’s ‘We Have a Dream’ campaign to build a school in Haiti can be made in the school boxes in Queen Street East businesses.

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