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Local students learn giving can be global
0930global
Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School second-graders Alex Rodriguez, left, 7, and Antonio Yanez, 7, enjoy cupcakes in the hallway Tuesday during a bake sale to benefit Heifer International. The organization provides livestock, training and related services to small-scale farmers and communities worldwide. - photo by SARA GUEVARA
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To purchase holiday or birthday cards from World Language Academy students, e-mail Emily Cohen.

Some local students are learning lessons that aren’t in the state curriculum but reach far beyond the walls of the school house.

In their “To Market, To Market” unit, Fair Street IB World School second-graders are learning lifelong traits some adults still find difficult — being selfless and being thrifty.

Fair Street second-grade teacher Dana Kirk said the unit teaches students how to save their money in classroom piggy banks. Students also learn the difference between needs and wants.

Students got hands-on experience working with money Tuesday by holding a bake sale to benefit Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that supplies families in third-world countries with livestock.

Kirk said last year, Fair Street second-graders raised nearly $500 to buy rams for families in Romania. The rams can serve as a sustainable lifeline for families who live in poverty and battle hunger.

“Instead of just spending (money) on what they want, they’re learning to save it and they’re learning to give it away for the Heifer project, for the families in need,” she said of students. “They’re learning to be selfless, which is a hard concept for a 7- or 8-year-old.”

Quincy Holcomb, 8, is a student in Kirk’s class and said he learned a lot from the unit. Quincy said he now knows the difference between needs and wants, and is excited to be able to help a family with real needs.

“I feel happy and I feel joyful,” he said. “If they have cows, they can drink milk.”

Fourth- and fifth-graders at the World Language Academy also are participating in an international service project.

Emily Cohen, a kindergarten teacher at the World Language Academy, has been working with the school’s older students who are drawing and selling holiday cards to benefit an impoverished family living in Pascuala, Nicaragua. Sales from the $2 cards will help fund a new home for the family.

Cohen has visited the poor community in Nicaragua several times with Because We Care Ministries based in Roanoke, Va.

She’s seen the village that was pummeled by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The country that ranks as the second-poorest in the Western Hemisphere was further devastated by the hurricane and its high death toll, she said.

“It’s just a village of shanties, basically, of dirt roads. The homes that are there now are made of sticks and black plastic and dirt floors. No running water. No electricity. They’re just barely surviving,” Cohen said. “We’ve been able to tie it together with the kids at the World Language Academy by talking about the blessings we have and sharing it with others.”

The outreach project is just part of the school’s international focus. Cohen said it helps students to understand kids from some other cultures live very differently than they do. She said students also are looking forward to developing a relationship with the one-room school house in the village.

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