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Org sponsors drive to collect school supplies for orphans

December 10, 2009

Kenyan and Peruvian orphans will be receiving school supplies for Christmas this year from River Falls residents and students who wish to donate.

Tomorrow’s Educators, a student group in the College of Education and Professional Studies at UWRF, and Pambazuko Partners are sponsoring the drive to collect school supplies from Dec. 1-15.

Advisor for Tomorrow’s Educators Florence Monsour has received help from her students as well as the organization.

“I have solicited help from students in my sections of Educational Psychology. Kylene Kopka and Laura Krenz will be working with the Kenya Pen Pal Project. Both students are in my Educational Psychology classes and are members of Tomorrow’s Educators,” Monsour said.

This is the third annual drive that Tomorrow’s Educators has held for orphans and poverty affected children overseas.

Each year, Tomorrow’s Educators members have participated in pen-pal projects, the start of school libraries, and fund raising for classroom supplies to support educational efforts for HIV/AIDS affected children in Kenya. This year, Peru has been added.

“You simply can’t imagine the joy that a child in a developing nation feels when they receive a pencil or a softcover book of their own,” Linda Alvarez, a UWRF study abroad advisor said.

One can donate by placing an item in the designated boxes around River Falls and the University.

“If UWRF students are cleaning their rooms in preparation for winter break, they can donate pencils, pens, rulers, scissors, soaps, anything that could assist a child,” Alvarez said.

The boxes will be located at the front desk of every residence hall on campus, in the staff room or main lobby in the Wyman Education Building, in Tomorrow’s Educators Mailbox #134 in the University Center, at the St. Croix Bowling Alley and outside of Econo Foods.

Those who would like to give can donate anything used for writing or coloring, paper, notebooks, children’s paperback books and cash donations (placed in an envelope and in mailbox #134).

According to Andrea Turek, Tomorrow’s Educators president, the donated items will be sent through the mail just before Christmas time.

“They will be delivered to the main coordinator in the Kenya slum, where we are sending this,” Turek said.

According to the flyer put out by Tomorrow’s Educators, a pencil in Kenya is 30 cents and the average monthly income is $30.00. Uniforms must be worn in order to attend school and the average classroom ratio is 100 students per one teacher.

In Peru, the school districts are growing quickly with little funds to support the change. Children between the ages six and 15 have a teacher-student ratio of three to 150.

“The poor children in Peru and Kenya make up a large portion of citizens for the future,” Alvarez said. “Therefore, if we want developing nations to advance, they must have an educated population.”