LONGVIEW

Texas Elementary Students Raise $10K to Provide Clean Water in Uganda

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Some students in East Texas learned a lesson in charity recently, thanks to a class assignment.

“It all started when I read a book called 'A Long Walk to Water,' by Linda Sue Park,” said Regina Ward, Longview Elementary fifth grade teacher. “In that book, it details how there are kids, they are just kids, having to walk back and forth all day trying to bring clean water back to their village. Many of these kids can’t even go to school, because they have to spend the time getting the water to the people they live with.”

Many of the young people who must go find the life-saving resource for the village are girls.

Ward then gave the book to her students to read.

“They decided that they wanted to do something. They wanted to find out if there was any way that they could help,” Ward said. “So, we started raising the money, but we didn’t quite reach our goal. The kids then did a little more and they were able to raise $10,000 in order to build a new well.”

She said it was more than a lesson in kindness, but also a means to help her students understand, they have so many more opportunities than others and helping those in need is a lesson they can take with them for a lifetime.

“I hope that people will listen more than they speak and that they will try to empathize with others and try to understand others' problems. It just inspires me. Sometimes we think kids can’t do a big thing. These kids did a big thing,” Ward said.

One of those kids was her student Mia Bustamante.

“We learned so much. Even if we had never met them. We knew they needed help and we wanted to help them,” Bustamante said.

The 11-year-old said she and her classmates are now looking for their next big project to do something good while remembering the lessons they learned from this one.

“Don’t take anything for granted, because some people might not have those things that you have. Just be nice to everyone,” Bustamante said.

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