SPENCERVILLE — It started out with a book that Spencerville Middle School students read in class and ended up in being a lesson on how people can make a difference.
Seventy eighth-grade students in the English Language Arts classes taught by Melissa Prichard spent the past few weeks reading and studying about the clean water crisis in Africa. When finishing the book, the students were determined not to let the lesson end. They decided to do something about the crisis and hosted a Walk-A-Thon to raise money to buy family-size water filters for those who live in the second largest slum in the world, Kibera Slum.
On Thursday, the students came together to celebrate their accomplishments of raising $1,617 for Acacia of Hope, a Wapakoneta mission that brings clean water to people in Kenya, Africa. The money raised was enough to buy 53 water filters that will impact more than 600 lives.
“This was an opportunity for my students to have a real life experience in response to a book we read in class, “A Long Walk to Water,” a true story dealing with the water struggles of Africa,” said Prichard. “I want to teach my students that everyone can do something to make a difference in this world. They were very focused on this project, and I am so proud their effort and commitment to this cause.”
Melissa Odira, founder of Acacia of Hope, received the donation at a ceremony that also awarded the top five students who raised the highest amount of pledges:
• Carter Ringwald, $210
• Jaren Binkley, $60
• Emma Core, $50
• Wyatt Nielsen, $50
• Will Gillespie, $45
“It is so amazing to see these youth desire to make a difference. They have learned that it doesn’t matter where you come from or your age, you can make this world a better place,” said Odira. “These are our leaders of tomorrow. And I know that Spencerville and Acacia of Hope are proud of being part of shaping them into our future leaders.”