TES first-grade classes trick-or-treat to help provide clean water

Published 12:25 am Saturday, November 2, 2013


Ask Abbygail Watts why she donated $1 to UNICEF this year and her answer makes perfect sense at any age.

“It’s important to be generous,” Watts, 6, said.

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Watts is in Mandi Davis’ class at Troy Elementary School and she and the other first-grade students at the school have been learning about community and giving as part of recent social studies and reading activities.

“We’ve been talking about how a school is a community and communities help each other. But it expands beyond that. Students can help other students in other communities,” explained first-grade teacher Heather Bunn.

As part of a first-grade project, students took home small orange UNICEF boxes to carry with them as they trick-or-treated and trunk-or-treated this week. The students learned about how children in other countries don’t have clean drinking water and many don’t get to attend school because they are needed to help with day-to-day family and village chores.

Watts said she was excited to bring the donations she collected back to school.

“There can be different things living in the water and it can eat people’s brains if they drink it, so I hope the money goes to help people get clean water,” Watts shared.

Jackson Mclendon, 7, in Amy Folmar’s class, said it was easier than he expected to convince people to donate to UNICEF.

“I just showed people the box and told them about what we were doing and they all gave me a quarter,” Mclendon said.

The back of a UNICEF donation box lists how far the smallest donation goes to helping others. A quarter pays for 10 children to have clean water to drink for one day; $1 pays for protein biscuits for a starving child; $17 keeps children save from six fatal diseases; $24 supplies an emergency first-aid kit; $257 buys a school-in-a-box so kids can learn anywhere; and $500 provides a water pump for a village or school.

Although donations were still trickling in Friday at TES, Folmar estimated the TES students helped to raise more than $200 for UNICEF.

“Mine’s full,” said Brandon Holston, 6, in Bunn’s class. “I got lots of money in here if you need some too,” he offered as he shook his orange container. “I want to help people get what they need.”

The message of compassion and generosity wasn’t lost on the first-grade students, which is exactly what teachers had hoped.

“I was hoping that they would get a sense of the world community and what it means to help other people, other children,” Folmar said. “They really understood what they were doing was a good thing and how important it is to help one another.”