By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Centennial second-graders raise money for cow for needy family
1212COW 0001
Ella Beccue watches a short video Thursday with Mrs. Carney’s second-grade class. The entire second grade at Centennial Arts Academy in Gainesville is participating in a service project to raise $650 to buy a cow for a family in need through World Vision. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Schoolchildren in Gainesville are counting their pennies and dimes and pooling their allowances to buy a cow.

The second-graders at Centennial Arts Academy are participating in a service project to help a family in need through World Vision.

World Vision is a nonprofit organization that helps children and families across the world. Several Centennial teachers have participated in World Vision projects with their classes for years, but this year all eight second-grade classes are joining.

“We decided that we would do it as a whole grade level,” said Amy Farmer, second-grade teacher and chairwoman. “The main theme of the whole program is that everybody, no matter how big or how small, has something they can give people.”

The students will need to raise $650 to buy a cow for a family in need. To introduce the service project, teachers showed students videos from World Vision’s website.

“It talks about why they need a dairy cow or why they need clean water,” Farmer said. “As we’ve shown the clips in class, the kids have been literally sitting there weeping.”

One video shows a child walking 5 miles to get water, Farmer said. When he gets there, it’s muddy, but the child drinks it anyway.

“The kids were just sobbing, as they’re all sitting there with Aquafina bottles on their desks,” Farmer said. “It really helped them see that we might not have everything that we want, but we certainly have everything that we need.”

Julie Butler, parent to Centennial second-grader Nico, said she is grateful to the teachers at Centennial for this project.

“They are teaching the kids how this one cow will provide so many gallons of milk a year and how it can feed a family,” Butler said. “It’s amazing.”

Butler said she feels lucky knowing her son is learning such a valuable lesson in such a progressive environment.

“This has changed him so much,” Butler said. “I’m just amazed. Every day he wants to know, ‘Mom, can I give my allowance? Mom, can you give me a little more money for the cow?’

“Even if it’s a quarter or a dime or their allowance, they want to give something.”

Last year, the children raised $250, enough to provide a family with a well on its property for clean water and several smaller animals, including ducks and chickens.

“There are other things you can choose from,” Farmer said. “It can go down to even a $25 gift you can give.”

So far, children have raised $87 and will continue to fundraise and donate through Dec. 19.

Even if they do not reach their $650 goal, their fundraising will go toward helping a family. Farmer said the students learned that even one penny can provide someone with a cup of clean water through World Vision.

“That really puts it into perspective for them,” she said. “Even though they don’t have jobs, they have piggy banks and get an allowance. They can really make a difference in the world.”