Students of Parkcrest elementary are ensuring peers half a world away can also learn to read and write.
In an effort that began three years ago, dozens of Me to We school group participants achieved their goal last week of raising $8,500 to build a school in Kenya as part of the Free the Children Program.
The students achieved their goal with three years of movie night concessions, bottle drives, Christmas bazaars, coin drives and sales of glow sticks, baked goods, Easter chocolate, dish cloths and cookbooks.
"Students gave up their own personal time during lunch hours, after schools and weekends to ensure the activities planned would be a success," said teacher Jodi Panter, who brought Me to We to the school. "I am proud of each of you."
The students' families and the school staff and administration also deserve kudos, she said.
On Friday, a school-wide assembly gathered the participating students still at Parkcrest and those who had moved to Brock elementary for a celebration of their achievement.
And their efforts may well have started a new school tradition.
"Their energy, enthusiasm, positive attitude, persistence and dedication given to such an endeavour has inspired me to continue on with providing students of Parkcrest another activity to get involved with," said Panter.
Me to We encourages youth from across North America to join together in positive actions that make a difference in their communities and around the world while learning that "it is cool to care."
The purpose behind Free the Children is to enable youth to help youth throughout the world through education.