Margaret Hedrick Elementary held its first World Changers Fair on Thursday as part of a program started by Arizona State University to end students’ six weeks of work and preparation for the big event.
“The purpose (of the program is) to create student citizens that are aware of their community and the needs of their community and to incorporate community service with technological skills,” Rauna Fox, Hedrick School principal, said after hours of making stress balls out of balloons filled with lentils.
“Hedrick has always been known as a high academic-achieving school, but what we’re also trying to be known for is well-rounded students,” Fox said.
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With the choice of a $2 admission, two cans of food or pet food or a two-toy donation, the public — including students from Hedrick and other El Centro schools — were given six tickets to redeem for school-made arts and crafts or game stations in support of each charity at the event.
The students themselves ran each of the six stations, which included making hydro bracelets, stress balls, decorating tote bags or bookmarks, grabbing a treat from the Sucker (lollipop) Tree or playing musical chairs in the prize walk game. The funds raised went to six charities including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Cancer Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and others.
“They decorated and sold the crafts, then we started the student store,” Gita Berry, computer lab supervisor and co-event coordinator, said.
Berry said some of the 18 fourth- through sixth-grade students who operate the student store have been coming in before and after school and during their lunchtime to sell, with all proceeds going to their charities.
“(This project is) going to teach them about profit, how to work together as a team and think about others besides themselves,” Fox said.
“They’ve been really serious about this project because they really care about the charities they’re working for,” she said. “They chose their own charities so it’s very personal to them.”
And it showed in the students.
“I decided to do this because I like helping people and I feel really bad about the homeless,” 10-year-old fourth-grader Sadriena Rodriguez said of her reasons for raising money for the Imperial Valley Food Bank.
“My charity uses horses as therapy for kids who can’t walk,” 9-year-old Mirella Saasta said of her charity, The Rain Tree Chest.
“It helps them exercise and makes them stronger,” she said.
Mirella and other students have also been operating their own fundraising efforts outside of school including making and selling flower pins, bracelets and baked goods.
“I’m so proud of my students because they really took their charity seriously and they learned how to create videos on the internet and post them,” Fox said.
“They’re excited about doing something good for the community and that makes me very proud of them. It’s been an amazing experience,” she said.
To view the student-made videos visit www.ecesd.org/hedrick and click on the “World Changers Videos” tab on the left.
Staff Writer Roman Flores can be reached at 760-337-3439 or email@example.com