As most readers can attest, books can inspire.
They can also teach.
Recently, one book did both these things for grade three students at David Hoy Elementary School.
Thanks to the book Three Cups of Tea, students in Kim Henderson’s class, after learning the value of a penny, were inspired to help out schools in other less fortunate schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The book, written by Greg Mortenson, tells about his personal journey to pay tribute to his sister by climbing the mountain K2. Mortenson did not make it to the top of the mountain, and instead owed his life to local villagers who helped rescue him from near death on his attempted ascent.
While staying with the local people, he developed a strong connection to the place and those living there and decided to start a charity to help build schools in the area.
Since then, his group, the Central Asia Institute has built many schools in the area.
Interestingly, a penny can buy a pencil for a student in a class in those countries, while in Canada, people throw pennies away, and consider them almost worthless.
After learning about Mortenson’s efforts to help students desperate for schools and supplies, one of the students in Henderson’s class, Jaynee Gauthier, showed up with a bag of pennies the next day “because I thought I wanted to help the students get supplies for school,” she explained.
The class has been collecting ever since.
Now with one jar full and a bin well on it’s way to being full as well, the students are hoping to help out as much as they can.
They have painted signs and a banner, and are accepting pennies from the community towards helping the Central Asia Institute.
Anyone wishing to donate their pennies, can drop them off at the front desk at David Hoy Elementary School during school hours.